By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV

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.

Comments (16)
  1. Jodi Purdy-Quinlan says:

    Thank you so much for doing this story on my beautiful cousins, Kezia and Saoirse Fitzgerald.

    1. Vince says:

      Tell your cousin to look into the Gerson Therapy. Many people have been cured from cancer with the therapy.

  2. rosemarie lake says:

    where do u donate money to…? I didn’t see anything listed as I would like to donate to their fund.

    1. Janelle says:

      If you click on either of the links (in blue words in the article above): “New Mom…New Cancer” or “Facebook” you’ll see an option to donate. Or, copy & paste this in your browser

  3. Victoria says:

    What a touching story, I hope many people will donate to help this family. Good luck and God Bless!

  4. Ruby says:

    Very sad but a “common cancer in children?” Why has cancer become “common” in children at all? It was unheard of when I was growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s.

    Was this child vaccinated? The secret is out that the polio vaccine has the cancer-causing SV-40 virus in it, not to mention all the other toxins in vaccines. Some 4 dozen are given to children these days, whether they are at risk or not, whether they work or not. It’s shameful what parents allow into their children’s bodies and what the government mandates.

    Cancer is an immune system failure. Children should not have immune system failures. It is caused by what is done to them. Very sad.

    1. Swell_swell says:

      Please do not spread this fearmongering unscientific claptrap. Far more lives were lost to the diseases the vaccines now prevent than are lost to childhood cancers (even assuming there even was a link – which there is no evidence of).

      1. Jon-research director says:

        Wow you must be a genetic researcher with your ever so matter of fact opinion. Now go back to your PTA party and stfu…

  5. Jean says:

    God bless, I’l remember you in my prayers.

  6. Judy says:

    My blessings and prayers are with your family. Your story and attitudes have really touched my heart and I will continue to keep up with all the progress thru facebook.

  7. Judy Laurence says:

    My prayers and heart goes out to you and family. I pray for comfort and strength. I know that God will bring you trough it.

  8. thecookiegal says:

    such a sad thing, to have to go through! But, neuroblastoma is not a “Common” childhood cancer as the article states – it is actualy RARE – only about 650 kids a year in the US get it… is a tough one to beat. Praying for their strength and peace to get through this!

    1. Tania says:

      I think what they meant by ‘common cancer in infants’ is that, among infants with cancer, neuroblastoma is one of the most common cancers. In fact, it is the most common solid tumor cancer in infants.