Elkhart County infant battling rare form of cancer

Bringing a baby home from the hospital is supposed to be a happy time for parents, full of excitement and dreams of the future.

Imagine getting your newborn home only to find out something is terribly wrong.

Maureen McFadden shares the story of a young Elkhart County family in the battle of the lives.

Little Coen Wing looks like a healthy happy six-month-old. When he was just two days old his parents found something very disturbing.

“He was two days old, we were giving him his first bath at home and he had a golf size, golf sized tumor in his groin area,” his mother Lisa explains.

Lisa and her husband Ron immediately called the emergency room and were told it was probably a hernia, to wait until Coen's two week checkup.

Not willing to do that, Lisa's mom Rhonda called a pediatrician she knew in Indianapolis. At just five days old the baby was in surgery and the fight of his life.

“First they sat us down and said, we don't want to scare you but we're not going to sugar coat things either” Lisa said.

Ron and Lisa were told their second child had a rare form of cancer called Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which strikes one in 200,000 people.

Ron says it was surreal.

It was just up in the air because I didn't know if it was malignant or not, so we were just playing the waiting game,” Coen’s father, Ron explained.

Because doctors couldn't remove all the cancer in surgery, Coen gets chemotherapy through a port in his tiny chest every three weeks.

He tolerates it well, but the Wing's know at times Coen is in pain.

“There was one night he put himself to sleep just laying there because he didn't want to be touched,” Lisa said.

Coen will continue getting chemo until at least February.

There's a 70 percent chance his prognosis will be good, but Ron says there's no guarantee.

I just don't want it to come back, there's always a chance it could come back,” Ron said.

In the meantime, the family will continue their trips to Indianapolis every three weeks and pray for the outcome every parent wants.

“I want him be healthy and happy and be able to play sports and be a normal kid,” Lisa said.

The Wing's have insurance, but they have a long battle and a lot of traveling ahead so it won't be cheap.

There are a couple of fundraisers planned to help with their expenses. One is a car wash, and who doesn't need one of those. The car wash will be at Lochmandy Suzuki in Elkhart from

The other is a benefit at the 112 Club in downtown Elkhart on Saturday, July 17. There will be food, raffles and live entertainment from " 3 Fiddy and "Sin and Crook," admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children.

They will be raffling off everything from golf for four to chemical peels.


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