Parents scramble for child allergic to cancer meds

- Imagine your child being diagnosed with cancer - and then learning they're allergic to one of the only drugs that can fight it.  

A mother and her daughter are determined to overcome these seemingly impossible odds with help from some doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Pete. 

About two years ago, Ava Luciano became very sick and her family took her to the hospital. Ava's mom, Alyssa described it as the worst day ever. 

The 4-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which is a cancer of the white blood cells.

"We spent a little over 40 nights in the hospital and she's had 33 blood transfusions and chemotherapy the whole time," Alyssa said.

While in treatment the family found out Ava was allergic to the medication used to treat the disease.

They found other drugs but her doctor warned it would be difficult to come by.

"Unfortunately, at that time, that medication was in very short supply and it was a struggle to get her those medications," Dr. Colin Moore explained.

Ava's mom began calling her insurance company, the FDA, and pharmacies all over the world.

She was able to get the drug for Ava from an overseas pharmaceutical company.

"I literally went to the ends of the earth to try and get the drug for Avalynn," Alyssa said.

The family believes that Ava's strength led them through the tough journey.

"Ava and I tell each other every day that we never, never give up and we stand by that," Ava's father, Dustin said.

Ava will be through with her therapy in a few months and Dr. Moore expects her to have a full recovery.

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