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Avrey Walker to get experimental HIV treatment to treat cancer

7:53 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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By Kim Tobin

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ/CNN) - The family of a 9-year-old Oregon girl with leukemia is hoping an unusual new treatment could save her life. Doctors are planning to use a disabled form of HIV to attack her cancer cells.

In some ways 9-year-old Avrey Walker is your average fourth grader. She likes hanging out with friends, going on trips and teaching her dog new tricks.

"I want to be a vet. I love animals, and I love my dog Lola," said Avrey.

You wouldn't know it by looking at her, but she's been fighting a tough battle for most of her life.

"I missed last week and my class has just been sending me notes, and they're like, get well soon," she said.

Avrey was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2007, and now it's back.

"The first time it came back was devastating. The second time is even more so. But, you know, you fight and you fight hard. It's hard, it's really hard," said her mother, Christal Walker.

Avrey will undergo an experimental treatment in Philadelphia where doctors will use a disabled HIV virus to attack her leukemia cells. Only four other children have tried it, and now they're in remission.

"We hope after these five years of chemo that we have done has gotten to this place where there is this new technology that's going to cure our little girl. We're still here, we're fighting. We're going to fight until we win. Basically that's our only option," said her father, Aaron Walker.

And through the fight, something to make Avery smile.

[Reporter]: "What do you think of Justin Bieber?"

"I love him," she said.

Since Avrey's fight started, not only have celebrities been behind her, but the whole Redmond community, fighting by her side.

"We live in a small town and everyone rallies around you, and it makes you feel wealthy and you feel great, because you know you look behind you and you see everybody standing there waiting to help you," said Aaron.

 

KTVZ/CNN

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