Beaverton family hopes video will help daughter's cancer fight - KPTV - FOX 12

Beaverton family hopes video will help in daughter's cancer fight

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The family of a Beaverton teenager battling a rare form of cancer has taken an unusual step in the fight to find the medicines that could potentially help her.

Nathalie Traller, 15, was diagnosed with alveolar soft part sarcoma two years ago.

Her family recently posted a video on YouTube that shares some of the struggles she's faced since her diagnosis. They believe she's struggled to get access to some of the latest trial medicines because of her age. They hope the video will help change that.

The video begins with photos of some of Traller's passions. She's always loved soccer and swimming, she said. She and her father, mother and sister are seen holding up signs that reference Traller's diagnosis and the fight she's faced since.

"You know, that day is kind of locked in my head," said Nathan Traller, Nathalie's father.

"I was just really confused. Not totally sure what was going on, and it just came on so sudden," said Nathalie Traller.

Video: 15-year-old talks about fighting cancer
Link: Nathalie's YouTube video

Doctors found masses near her heart and her brain, Nathan Traller said.

The cancer had already spread.

Traller's family quickly learned that there weren't a lot of treatment options for her.

"Immediately after we were told there's not really a playbook for this, we started researching, and I started reaching out across the country," Nathan Traller said.

So far, Nathalie Traller has undergone about eight surgeries.

Last year, her family learned about some new immunotherapy drugs that would likely eventually be tested through clinical trials, Nathan Traller said. Several doctors and researchers thought his daughter could potentially be a candidate to see what the drugs could do, he added.

But she's been told several times that she can't participate because she's only 15, Nathan Traller said. Often, there's an age requirement of at least 18, experts said.

"It's frustrating to be so close to something that could really help you," Nathalie Traller said.

"There's nothing like watching your daughter feel pain, and you can't make it better," Nathan Traller said.

Nathalie's mother came up with an idea to create a video to share her daughter's story. Her family hopes it'll help change the system that experts like Simon Davies say keep teens like Traller from taking part in important research that could help them.

Davies is the executive director of Teen Cancer America. It's a registered nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of teenagers and young adults with cancer.

"There's an urgency about this. And the people who have influence need to understand that the days and weeks and months that go by before these changes are made, there are going to be people who will die during that time," said Davies.

Nathalie Traller's fight with cancer has taken a physical toll on her. She can't get out and do some of the things she used to do before her diagnosis.

But her father's not giving up.

"I think we're looking for any sort of solution that just helps our story, our situation," Nathan Traller said.

His daughter isn't giving up either.

"I just take each day, day by day, step by step, and just keep having that hope, that spirit of not giving up," said Nathalie Traller.

Traller's family hopes to release another video about her story within the next week or so. As of Wednesday night, the first video had more than 2,300 hits.

Click on the related links to watch the entire video, learn more about Teen Cancer America, and support Nathalie Traller and her family.

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