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Mother And Infant Daughter Battle Cancer Together

By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV
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Mike, Kezia and Saoirse Fitzgerald. Kezia and Saoirse are both battling cancer.

Mike, Kezia and Saoirse Fitzgerald. Kezia and Saoirse are both battling cancer.

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BOSTON (CBS) – She thought cancer would be the fight of her life. Now, a local mom is battling to save her daughter who also has the disease.

Doctors diagnosed Kezia Fitzgerald shortly after she gave birth, but as she started making strides she noticed drastic changes in her little girl and it wasn’t long before both were fighting to stay alive.

In January Kezia was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, “it was definitely a shock, of course at first we were scared.”

She called the day she got the news D-day on her blog “New Mom….. New Cancer.”

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

Just eight months before that day Kezia and Mike had Saoirse, a healthy baby girl who immediately stole their hearts.

Kezia’s new cancer required chemotherapy. It slowed her down a bit but she was determined to beat it, “There’s no other options you can just crawl into a hole.”

But in May the Fitzgeralds were dealt a second devastating blow. After weeks of mysterious symptoms and fruitless doctors visits Saoirse was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a common cancer in infants.

When asked what that day was like Mike broke down, “I just couldn’t talk. I just kept crying. We all just sat there, holding each other.”

For three months, mother and daughter bonded over the debilitating disease, “it does make it a little bit easier to keep on top of side effects because I know what she feels like.”

There have been victories, Kezia’s cancer is in remission but Saoirse’s fight continues. She needs surgery to remove tumors and in January will undergo stem cell transplant.

But like mom her strength in the face of struggle is unwavering, “She is very hyper and very antsy. She loves learning; she’s not letting it get her down.”

Saoirse’s doctors say she is responding well to her cancer medicine. They’ve also told mom and dad that the two cancers are entirely unrelated and were not passed on from mom to daughter.

The Fitzgerald’s have started a fund to help pay their mounting medical bills and living expenses. Both parents are no longer working.

For more information or to make a donation, you can follow the Fitzgeralds on Twitter @fitzcancerfund and on Facebook.

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