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Atlanta family places hope in new cancer treatment for 11-year-old son

Tracy Stowers has watched his son William battle stage four liver cancer for the past three years. A new cancer treatment in Atlanta is bringing them hope.

ATLANTA — An Atlanta family hopes a new cancer treatment at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will bring positive results for their 11-year-old son. 

Tracy Stowers has watched his son William battle stage four liver cancer for the past three years.

William was initially diagnosed with stage four liver cancer at eight years old and despite multiple failed treatment attempts, his family remains optimistic that new cancer therapy, Y90 at Children's will work.

"The chemo was working at first and for some reason it stopped. So now we're moving on to the new Y90 drug. I pray this is the one," Tracy Stowers, William's father said.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta recently completed its first Yttrium-90 (Y90) Radioembolization treatment for pediatric patients with liver cancer in collaboration with the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and Interventional Radiology.

Dr. Katie Sutton, a pediatric oncologist for the Aflac Cancer at Children's, said the new treatment is not widely available in the Southeast.

"Children's is one of only a few pediatric centers in the nation that offer this treatment to patients," Sutton said.

According to Dr. Anne Gill, Associate Director of Pediatric Interventional Radiology at Children's, the treatment is minimally invasive. It delivers targeted radiation to the tumor, effectively minimizing damage to other organs. 

"Our options for treating this cancer are very, very limited. So this is a promising new therapy. Hopefully, the treatment will help them have the best outcome we can offer them," Gill said.

Despite enduring numerous unsuccessful treatments, William has managed to maintain a positive outlook throughout his cancer journey, as his father points out.

"He tells me all the time he's going to beat the cancer," Stowers said.

In a display of resilience, the 11-year-old collaborated with his uncle to record a song titled "I made it," emphasizing his determination to overcome cancer.

William confidently sings, "I'm going to win cancer kicking buckets."

For those interested in supporting the Stowers family, an online fundraiser has been set up, which can be accessed here.

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