Casey Charf survives car accident, then diagnosed with cancer

9:20 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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By Brandi Petersen

OMAHA, Neb. (KETV/CNN) - Doctors from across the country are offering to help a Nebraska teenager after a car crash that left the teen with a broken neck and back also lead to the discovery she has a rare form of cancer.

Laughs among family and friends, and support Casey Charf desperately needs right now. And it doesn't have anything to do with that neck and back brace she's wearing.

"I'm determined not to let this cancer ruin my life. Or take it," said Casey.

Flashback to February 23. Casey was driving a car and swerved to miss a skunk. The vehicle rolled down an embankment near 276th Street near Bennington Road.

Doctors, checking for injuries from the accident, found a spot on her kidney.

"A couple of days later they called us with the results that it was pheochromocytoma, and it was cancerous throughout my body," said Casey.

Just 18-years-old and no symptoms. Casey's body had been hiding a 5" by 3" tumor.

"My sister just ran in here and started crying on my shoulder when we got the call. It was, I didn't know what to think. I was scared," she said.

And frustrated. Casey and her family are now searching for answers, for a treatment that might work, or someone else who's battling this type of cancer.

She's not alone. Her friends have sold about 200 'Team Casey' shirts, hoping to find 'Casey's cure'.

"It's incredible how much people really do care and show it on Facebook, and online, and praying, anything," said Casey.

And with support like this, Casey is ready to fight.

[Reporter]: "Was this accident in anyway a blessing?"

"I believe it was. I believe God made it happen at that point in time because that's the point I was strong enough to handle it," said Casey.

A Virginia doctor who saw Casey's story put her in contact with another physician.

That doctor is one of the nation's leading experts on Casey's form of cancer and the head of medical neuro-endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health.

As of Tuesday, more than $30,000 has been donated to Casey on her 'Casey's Cure' web page at


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