14-Month-Old Baby Battles Rare Brain Cancer, Fights For His Life - NBC Chicago

14-Month-Old Baby Battles Rare Brain Cancer, Fights For His Life

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Baby Holden Fights for His Life

    A couple in Chicago who wanted and tried to have a child of their own for so long, finally had a baby boy via in vitro fertilization—now, they’re helping him battle for his life. NBC 5's Christian Farr reports.

    (Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018)

    A couple in Naperville who wanted and tried to have a child of their own for so long, finally had a baby boy via in vitro fertilization—now, they’re helping him battle for his life.

    At nearly 14 months old, Holden Mullen looks and acts like almost every other kid his age.

    “Just fun, laughing, learning new words, learning to crawl,” said Chad Mullen, Holden’s father.

    "Really fun little kid, huge personality that we can tell" added Holden’s mother Alexandra Mullen.

    As the son was approaching his first birthday in March, the Mullen's say their baby suddenly vomited for the first time.


    “It was just very surprising but we’re thinking he must have a flu, bug or something like that,” said the dad.

    According to the family, Holden had another episode where his eyes started to drift to the right, his balance had been off and sometimes his head would tilt to one side.

    The family's pediatrician soon became concerned when Holden’s head size grew drastically within just one month, so he ordered for him to get an ultrasound of his brain.

    “Within an hour we got the news that he had a large tumor in his posterior fossa of his brain," the dad said.

    A little more than 24 hours later, they had been told that their baby boy had cancer.

    "It's not just any cancer; this cancer is so rare it only happened to 30 kids a year in the US,” said the mom.

    Doctors removed the golf ball-size tumor but now baby Holden has to undergo 12 months of chemotherapy.

    The family says they want their story to bring awareness to parents to watch out for symptoms as their child develops.

    "You do hear stories where these things go, symptomatic but not diagnosed for six more months, which is really going to make the treatment plan a lot more difficult," said the dad.

    The family says they believe that baby Holden will make it through this tough and long journey.

    The Mullen’s had a scare on Mother’s Day when Holden had to undergo surgery for a second time.

    A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for the Mullen’s expenses and they hope to also donate some of that money to increase awareness about this rare form of brain cancer.

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android