Chrissy Turner will undergo a mastectomy after she was diagnosed with "one in a million" secretory carcinoma

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated November 24, 2015 12:25 PM
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Courtesy Chrissy's Alliance

Chrissy Turner was her family’s happy distraction when her father battled Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was a baby. But now the third grader is gearing up for a mastectomy after she was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer – at just 8 years old.

“I broke down,” mom Annette Turner, herself a cervical cancer survivor, told ABC4 Utah News. “It’s a struggle every day worrying about my family, about my husband and now my baby girl.”

Annette told the news station Chrissy was diagnosed with secretory carcinoma – an extremely rare form the disease generally associated with grown women.

The Utah girl who loves drawing and coloring first feared something was wrong last month.

“It was about the middle of October she came to us with a lump on her chest and was scared,” said her father, Troy Turner, a Desert Storm veteran and cancer survivor.

“She was our therapy when he was going through chemotherapy,” Annette said of Troy’s cancer battle. “She was always making us laugh and she’s got the wit of someone far beyond her age.”

Chrissy will begin treatment at the Huntsman Cancer Institute where she will undergo a mastectomy. Meanwhile, she has the support of her family and seems to be embracing a positive attitude.

“I was scared the first time that I knew about it,” Chrissy admitted. “But I knew that I could fight it off and I hope that I can fight it off.”

“You can do this,” Annette assured her.

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Friends of the family launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with medical costs, and a Facebook page has been set up regarding her cancer fight.

Her mother, meanwhile, said the family will be at her side every step of the way.

“We’re just going to keep fighting,” Annette said. “Doing everything we can to smile every day and laugh every day and carry our head high and do our best to overcome this.”