CAMPBELL, Ohio (WYTV) – September is childhood cancer awareness month, and it’s a time to reflect on the journeys of some incredible kids.
On one of those journeys is a four-year-old from Campbell who beat cancer at just two, but now he’s back in the hospital with another diagnosis.
His family says no matter what comes their way, they will always keep fighting.
Four-year-old Philip Igo is just like any other little boy, except that he’s already been through so much at such a young age.
“You know, you watch your kid go through this and he’s just innocent and has no idea why he’s being pinched and why he’s getting shots and why he has to be in the hospital,” said Philip’s mom, Melissa Igo.
At just two years old, Philip was diagnosed with liver cancer.
After extensive chemo, the little warrior beat the disease.
“And we though it was over, and it wasn’t. No,” said Melissa.
Philip lived cancer-free for almost two years until doctors called in late August.
“And ever since that day, life was changed,” Melissa said.
Philip is now facing leukemia, a type caused by the toxic chemo that helped save his life the first time.
“He looked at me and he said, ‘Mommy, am I going to die?” and I said, ‘No baby,’ and I just hugged him and we just sat on the floor and cried and I just couldn’t let him go,” Melissa said.
Doctors have given Philip a 25% chance at survival, an unimaginable thought for his mom, who just years before watched him beat cancer.
“We didn’t fight so hard for so long for him to be taken from us,” she said. “Philip is strong, and he’s going to beat this, We’re going to fight, and we’re going to win, and we’re not going to come back here.”
Philip is getting treatment at Akron Children’s Hospital, but will ultimately need a bone marrow transplant to save his life.
His aunts are now encouraging people to become donors, even if it’s not for Philip.
“Maybe somewhere down the road, maybe never, but maybe, just maybe, you might be that match for somebody else’s baby,” said his aunt Angel Sanders.
“This little four-year-old is out here fighting for his life for a second time, being so strong,” said his other aunt Cassandra Smith.
Melissa says people always ask how she gets through it.
Her answer is simple. There is no other choice.
“When it comes to saving your child’s life, you would do whatever you have to because that’s all that matters,” she said.
She says you do what you can and pray.
“That’s all we can do. I know a lot of people don’t believe in God, but I need to believe in God right now,” Melissa said.
Because she knows Philip will never give up the fight, so neither will she.
“Just hold your babies, just love them, because you don’t know when something like this is going to happen,” Melissa said.
A drive-by spaghetti benefit dinner will be held for Philip on Sunday, October 11 from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Center, 4490 Norquest Blvd. in Austintown.
Dinners will cost $10. T-shirts will also be for sale for $18 as well as bracelets for $2.