ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A Florida community has rallied together to support a seven-year-old girl who is fighting an extremely aggressive form of cancer.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, Vivian Sleeth's parents noticed that she was watching TV sideways and that her vision had apparently doubled. Her parents took her to see an optometrist, and eventually she was diagnosed with childhood diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIGS), a highly aggressive form of brain cancer.
The prognosis is also tough news to hear – they estimate young Vivian may live for another six months.
"You have been told a horrible diagnosis and then told to go home and make memories. There is nothing we can do," said Brittany Sleeth, Vivian's mom.
"Even the best doctors in the world can’t give you any answers. That is the hardest part to take because you are expecting something, you are hoping for something," said Vivian's stepfather, Mark Huetter.
But, they also have hope and support, and care from their community. Last weekend, nearly 40 people shaved their heads in solidarity and support of Vivian, who lost her hair through treatment.
The Sleeths said that support has helped them through an understandably difficult time.
"As a parent, every day you are looking at your child and seeing your child and when you are told you have a year to spend with them, it is killing you every single day," Huetter said.
This week, they will travel to Washington D.C. to undergo an experimental treatment in Vivian's cancer fight, and her family has asked for continued prayers for Vivian and their family.