3-year-old Huntley girl battles rare liver cancer

HUNTLEY – Lauren Felde didn’t know what to think earlier this fall when she could feel a lump near the stomach of her 3-year-old daughter, Payton.

Payton had been complaining that her stomach hurt. Lauren and her husband, Ryan, ultimately checked their daughter into the hospital.

On Oct. 25, Payton was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer that can affect children up to 5 years old.

Doctors informed the Huntley family that Payton had a massive tumor on her liver and smaller tumors on her lungs, Lauren Felde said.

“I never in a million years would think that would be the diagnosis,” Lauren Felde said. “At the very beginning, it was not very hopeful. They told us it was a 50-50 chance. But she has been phenomenal.”

Facing an uncertain recovery, the Felde family has started a “Pennies 4 Payton” fundraiser on youcaring.com to help cover Payton’s medical expenses. The family so far has raised $32,860, with a goal of reaching $50,000.

The public also is welcome to attend a benefit at 3 p.m. Saturday at John Barleycorn, 1100 American Lane, Schaumburg. Tickets for adults are $30 and include an afternoon of entertainment, raffles and a silent auction.

Since the diagnosis, Payton has already undergone two surgeries and two rounds of chemotherapy. By the sixth round of chemotherapy, doctors hope the cancer will be removed from Payton’s lungs, Lauren Felde said.

Doctors would then attempt to operate on the liver, followed by additional chemotherapy. A possibility exists that the cancer could return during the next five years after it is removed, Lauren Felde said.

The diagnosis has forced Lauren Felde to take time off from her job as a life skills teacher at Huntley High School.

Ryan Felde, who owns Felde Chiropractic in Palatine, also has had to take time away from his job, while the family juggles caring for Payton and raising their 21-month-old son, Jordan.

Any support, Lauren Felde said, is appreciated.

“Life doesn’t stop when this happens, which is hard,” she said.

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