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12-year-old Florida boy battling rare form of childhood leukemia

Colton King's family says his form of childhood leukemia is rare due to a specific gene.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — 12-year-old Colton King has been battling cancer for about a month. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

According to the American Cancer Society, leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for almost one out of three cancers. 

Colton's family said his form of childhood leukemia is rare due to a specific gene.

“What has made this tricky and exceptionally difficult is that he has this extremely rare gene that they have only seen a handful of times in 20 years," Colton's mother Stacy King said. 

The 12-year-old's doctors said he will likely need a bone marrow transplant soon. 

“Normally a bone marrow transplant is something you may discuss years down the road," Stacy said. 

In this case, doctors said they believe the bone marrow transplant could help save his life. This week, the King family discovered Colton's 16-year-old sister is a perfect match.

“Now that we know I’m a match, it’s a good life saver to hold onto," Kaylee King, Colton's older sister, said.

Throughout the treatment process, Colton's mother said he has been very positive and has pushed through a lot of challenging days. There was one specific incident 10 days into treatment that was one of the hardest moments for the 12-year-old. 

“His heart rate was through the roof. They [doctors] were doing the max amount of airflow and everything they could do for him," Stacy said. 

That's when she posted on social media, asking people to pray for her son.

“As people are saying that they are praying, we are watching the monitors and we are watching him being able to breathe and his heart rate going down," she said. “It was truly a miracle and as if God stepped in and said 'I am in this and I am going to help your boy.'"

Colton's mother said she is hopeful he will be able to play baseball again in the future because out on the field is where he is happiest. 

“When he gets on that field, I don’t think we will be able to stop crying because that will mean his body is strong," Stacy said.

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