A Californian family’s world was turned upside down in a matter of weeks when two siblings were found to have the same rare form of brain cancer.
When their daughter Kalea (6) threw up one morning in May 2018 her parents, Duncan and Nohea Avery, assumed she had a stomach bug, The Sun reports.
But when she continued to throw up and complained of severe headaches the youngster’s mom took her to the emergency room.
Doctors found Kalea had medulloblastoma, a rare cancerous brain tumour, Daily Mail reports.
Then, after she was admitted to hospital so surgeons could remove her tumour, her little brother Noah (4) started experiencing the same symptoms.
An MRI scan performed on the boy revealed he had an identical tumour in the same part of his brain as his sister.
“We broke down in tears,” Duncan said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. “How could two kids in 14 days have the exact same tumour? How does that happen?”
Doctors described the double diagnosis as “lightning striking twice” and believe the siblings have a genetic condition.
Both Kalea and Noah have had their tumours removed but it’s expected they’ll have to have years of speech and occupational therapy, Fox News reports.
The case has shocked doctors worldwide. “None of us have probably seen that,” said Dr Sonia Partap, a professor at Stanford University in California.