Mother and three daughters all battle cancer at the same time - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Mother and three daughters all battle cancer at the same time

Both were diagnosed with optic nerve glioma at ages 3 and 4. (Photo Source: St. Jude) Both were diagnosed with optic nerve glioma at ages 3 and 4. (Photo Source: St. Jude)
But Elnora's worries are far from over. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) But Elnora's worries are far from over. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Felicia and Jayla are known throughout St. Jude for their laughter, energy and enthusiastic hugs. Both were diagnosed with optic nerve glioma at ages 3 and 4.

"Very unexpected. No warning signs, anything like that," Jayla's mother, Elnora Blackledge, at Target House in Midtown said.

Jayla is now 10. Both girls went in for eye checkups when doctors saw brain tumors.

The family lives in Memphis and knew the best treatment was in their own backyard.

"We do scans every three to six months. They're on medications every morning. I'm at St. Jude four out of five days a week," said Elnora.

Blackledge and her husband, Frederick, were astounded when they learned they would not have any out-of-pocket expenses for treatment at St. Jude.

"I've been able to take care of my children, be there for them, walk with them, talk with them, be right there by their side without worrying about how am I gonna pay for something depending on the diagnosis," said Elnora. St. Jude has taken 99 percent of the load off, which is like whew, I can do this."

But Elnora's worries are far from over. Her youngest daughter is now being treated for the same condition as her older sisters.

And as if that were not enough, Elnora was diagnosed with Hodgekins Lymphoma and had to deal with her own cancer while her three girls were receiving treatment.

"I had it in three spots on my neck, in my chest area, and on my back. Everything stage two and three," she said.

Thankfully Elnora is doing much better and able to focus on her three children, still receiving treatment at St. Jude. She says the generous support from hospital staff, doctors and donors helps her keep a positive attitude.

"There are more good days than bad. But every once in a while you hope, are praying that they get through this. Those milestones that we take for granted, you know? Sixteenth birthday, your sweet 16. Or, you know, you're turning into a teenager, those things you pray for. But I'm very optimistic. They're my inspiration," she said.

Doctors say a genetic condition lead to the girls' brain tumors. The two oldest are in remission. The youngest is getting the best treatment possible at St. Jude.

One way to help save lives at St. Jude is to purchase a ticket for the Dream Home Giveaway. A winner is drawn Sunday. Follow the link to buy a ticket or call 1-800-224-6681.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Batesville looking at new road project

    Batesville looking at new road project

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 7:38 PM EDT2017-07-26 23:38:07 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 12:02 AM EDT2017-07-27 04:02:46 GMT
    (Source: KAIT-TV)(Source: KAIT-TV)

    The city of Batesville is on a mission to eliminate a traffic jam issue on one of their city streets. 

    The city of Batesville is on a mission to eliminate a traffic jam issue on one of their city streets. 

  • Man sentenced to 40 years in jail in 2002 murder case

    Man sentenced to 40 years in jail in 2002 murder case

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 11:52 PM EDT2017-07-27 03:52:00 GMT
    Wednesday, July 26 2017 11:57 PM EDT2017-07-27 03:57:30 GMT
    (Source: Arkansas Dept. of Corrections)(Source: Arkansas Dept. of Corrections)

    A Mississippi County man was sentenced to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a capital murder charge.

    A Mississippi County man was sentenced to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a capital murder charge.

  • Sheriff's deputy in recovery after explosion

    Sheriff's deputy in recovery after explosion

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 11:42 PM EDT2017-07-27 03:42:06 GMT
    Wednesday, July 26 2017 11:48 PM EDT2017-07-27 03:48:29 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    A sheriff's deputy is healing physically and mentally after responding to a call in Monette that resulted in an explosion.

    A sheriff's deputy is healing physically and mentally after responding to a call in Monette that resulted in an explosion.

Powered by Frankly