Mia McCray is one tough girl.
When her parents, David and Cory McCray, took her to a local doctor for a sore knee, an X-ray revealed a lesion.
That was on Aug. 24, 2017, her 12th birthday.
Shortly thereafter the Henderson Junior High seventh grader learned that she had osteosarcoma, and since then has been through a whirlwind of tests, chemotherapy and four surgeries to rid her of the cancer.
But Mia’s story is more complicated than just a single diagnosis.
Mia also has a genetic condition called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), which makes affected families more predisposed to developing cancer at a young age.
The condition runs on her mother’s side of the family.
A difficult history
Mia’s mother Cory is soft-spoken, articulate and well-versed when it comes to her daughter’s illness.
She has to be.
LFS invaded Cory’s life at a young age, affecting two of her aunts and two sisters, who all died of cancer.
Cory’s sister Pat Lawson was just 10 when she died of cancer in 2001. Her other sister, Michelle Lawson, died in 2011 at the age of 23.
“It was a hard time,” she recalled. “I felt guilty and scared.”
Cory also has LFS, but has thankfully not developed cancer.
“I’ve had a hysterectomy and I plan to have a double mastectomy,” she said. “I’ve been told that I have a 100 percent chance of developing breast cancer.”
Cory and her husband have four children, including Mia. Two of their children have undergone genetic testing and there is no sign of LFS.
“That’s been such a relief, it was great news,” Cory said.
But one of her sons still has to be tested.
Hope for Mia
Cory said the family has been overwhelmed with support.
“I work for Tarleton and I can’t tell you how loving and supportive they have been,” Cory said. “And the teachers and administrators at Mia’s school and our band family have done so much to help her get through this.”
Those who want to support Mia and her fight against cancer and LFS can purchase a T-shirt by visiting http://bit.ly/Hope4Mia.
The purple T-shirts (Mia’s favorite color) sell for $20, with $10 benefiting the family. The last day to purchase one is Friday.
On Saturday, May 26, “Miles for Mia” will take place at Stephenville City Park.
The 5K and one-mile fun run is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Coach Kristi Mayes is organizing the event.
How things are going
Mia is currently undergoing another round of chemotherapy at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
“She doesn’t get sick, she gets tired and dizzy,” Cory said. “And she is able to go to school when she feels up to it.”
Cory said the family is focused on getting Mia well and taking pleasure in the small victories.
“Cancer is hard, it affects the entire family,” she said. “But we are so grateful for the support of our community.”