Boy undergoes new cancer treatment in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - "Praying, a lot of praying."  That's what Zayne Burton says about his cancer diagnosis.  The 12-year-old boy was originally taken to the emergency room for symptoms of a concussion, when doctors found a tumor in his brain.

"What Zayne presented us with, was a vary rare tumor of the brain and spine," says oncologist Dr. Naren Ramakrishna.

Zayne already had surgery to remove the tumor, and now, he is the first pediatric patient to receive proton therapy at Orlando Health's UF Health Cancer Center.  The therapy directly targets the remaining cancer cells, without impacting the rest of his body. "It allows us to treat the brain, and then treat the entire spinal cord with little or no dose going into the front of the spinal cord, and that is an enormous advantage over traditional radiation treatment, where the child ends up getting radiation all through the axis of their body, it's unnecessary," says Dr. Ramakrish.

Zayne's parents feel blessed to have this option at home. The treatment had only been available for four weeks in Central Florida, when Zayne was diagnosed. Otherwise the family would've had to travel to Jacksonville for Zayne's 30 treatments. "The family is already in upheaval and turmoil, and you're just grasping and just tying to get some sort of normalcy and so by it being right here, it's 20 minutes down the road, it's easier, he can be in his home," says Zayne's mother, Lori.

Though there's a long road ahead, she says their faith and positivity will see them through.  "We have raised our kids to live intentionally, every step of the way.  All of us have a story, so what are you going to do with your story? It's kind of what we tell him.  We always tell him you're 'a-ma-Zayne.' That's our thing.  Zayne you're 'a-ma-Zayne," said his mother.