PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A 7-year-old Valley boy is in the fight for his life as he begins treatment for a rare form of brain Cancer. Now his family are speaking out about the battle, and the amazing support they are getting from people all over the world.
Hollis Doherty was your typical active little boy until his parents noticed some serious changes in his behavior during the middle of last month.
"He was at church and somewhat lethargic, we got him in the car, and he was in pain, screaming, grabbing at his head, rolling around. Unlike any behavior we've ever seen with him before," said Shawnee Doherty.
His parents Shane and Shawnee Doherty took him to the emergency room and several doctor visits. Then they got the news they were dreading, Hollis was diagnosed with a very rare cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, also known as DIPG.
"It's on his brain stem, which we've been told is really a supercomputer, and a lot of nerves are impacted by that area," said Shane Doherty.
"The most cases they've ever seen in Phoenix in a given year is six, but they say one or two a year," said Shawnee.
The Doherty's faith is helping them through this, along with well-wishes, and prayers from thousands of people around the world who are using the hashtag #hopeforhollis and drawing a green heart with an H in the middle on their hands, as a show of support for Hollis and his family. Even Arizona Cardinals player Larry Fitzgerald signed the cover of Sports Illustrated for Hollis, which his parents say boosted his spirits.
"Thank you for praying for me, I love all your love and support, I like you very much," said Hollis Doherty.
Hollis is resting at home while he gets ready for 30 days of radiation treatment at the Mayo Clinic.
"Ultimately we're just trusting God for a miracle, the doctor's aren't giving us much hope, but our hope is in God, and he's going to provide a way," said Shawnee.
If you would like to follow Hollis's journey visit: https://www.facebook.com/HOPE-for-Hollis-918934911555980