Baby battles rare tumor growing inside mouth - WSMV Channel 4

Baby battles rare tumor growing inside mouth

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Miley Buchanan Miley Buchanan
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Robertson County family is hoping for the best after their baby was born with a life-threatening condition.

Twelve-week-old Miley Buchanan has a large tumor growing on her face, and it's not the first time her family has seen tough times.

It's only been two years since Russell Bibee made headlines after his childhood sweetheart was gunned down and died in her mother's arms.

Now, his daughter has been diagnosed with a tumor so rare, doctors have only seen about 150 other cases. "This mass is all on the inside of her mouth, down her throat. It's got her tongue pushed over to one side, and her mouth is just filled with this mass," said her father, Bibee.

One side of Miley's head is completely fine, but on the other side, there's a gigantic tumor about the size of a large cantaloupe dwarfing her little body.

"They're scouring the countryside, as far as I know, to try to come up with answers or do some research to figure out what can possibly be done for her," Bibee said.

Right now, doctors are injecting medicine into the tumor every four weeks. It's designed to shrink the sacs inside the large mass, but so far nothing has worked.

"Nothing, so far, has been really successful. None of the treatments or the procedures that they've done. They're talking about surgery," Bibee said.

But surgery is a last resort. It could take away Miley's ability to make facial expressions, damage nerves and muscles or affect her thyroid, which the tumor is believed to be linked to.

"We don't know when or what to expect. The doctors really don't know that to expect," Bibee said. "We were talking about our hospital bill, and she's definitely going to be a million-dollar baby."

Insurance will pay for the medical bills, but Bibee says his family is still struggling to pay for things like gas, hotel rooms and meals near the hospital over an extended period of time. It's been three months already with no foreseeable end.

"It's sort of like the doctors are fighting a never-ending, never-winning battle with this," he said. "We're holding on as a family and doing the best we can under the situation."

If you'd like to help, a fund has been set up at Regions Bank. Just ask for the Miley Buchanan Fund.

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