TROY, Texas – Over the summer, Koda started to show symptoms of rashes on his legs. His parents were concerned and took him to the hospital to find out what was wrong.
“The words you never want to hear as a parent. But the only good thing that we do get is the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” says Nakoda’s mother, Shalon Layton.
For Koda, hearing the words “You have cancer” changed his world.
“I didn’t expect to hear that same day. But it just keeps getting easier for me, it seems, as far as treatment goes,” Nakoda says.
Koda has intensive chemotherapy – he will have 14 treatments in two-month cycles.
“And one of the good things about this type of cancer is, is typically have a very good response to therapy, but takes a lot of high dose and combination of chemotherapy drug,” says Nakoda’s doctor, Dr. Carrie Laborde.
With September being Children’s Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Laborde says, “For children, we think of cancer as being very rare. But we know that there’s over 15,000 children in the United States diagnosed with cancer every year.”
To show support, the Layton family all have shirts for Koda. It says, “The comeback is always stronger than the setback.” Since the diagnosis, Koda has been extra precautious to stay healthy – which means not being able to play football this season.
“He got to play in the homecoming game, and that was his one and only game he got to play,” says Shalon.
Battling cancer is hard, and Koda can’t do it alone. Members of the Troy community show they stand by Koda’s side. The community has been able to do meal trains for the family, and has bought “Koda Strong” t-shirts.
“I’m very proud of the community. I mean, for a little town, they supported a lot more than I thought the town would,” says Nakoda.
There will be a Koda Strong benefit on October 16th. The public is invited to show Koda some support.
(Jessica Rivera contributed to this report.)