Minn. Baby Born with Cancer Recovering at Home

Posted at: 02/05/2013 10:34 PM
Updated at: 02/06/2013 10:44 AM
By: Naomi Pescovitz

Tara and Chad Carlson refused to believe their little girl would only know life inside of a hospital.

"She was always going to be able to come home," Tara Carlson said.

Jacqueline Carlson, now three months old, was born with a large tumor on her left shoulder. It was first spotted during an ultrasound while Tara was still pregnant.

"I was shocked at the size of it, it was right on her shoulder, it was right here and it just looked almost the size of her head, it was huge," Tara Carlson said.

Days later Jacqueline was born five weeks premature. A few weeks after birth, a team of doctors at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis decided to remove the tumor.

"This tumor looked like it was growing before our eyes and the feeling was perhaps if we got this tumor out she wouldn't be so sick," said Pediatric Oncologist Dr. Julie Chu.

A team of doctors from around the country have looked at the case, they now believe it is a low-grade sarcoma.

"The surgeons did a really good job and got the great majority of it but there was some tumor that was kind of along the scapula, the bones, that they really couldn't resect the bones," Chu said.

At five weeks old, Jacqueline was in chemotherapy.

"When you are in the hospital you just feel so helpless, there's not really anything you can do but be there," said Chad Carlson.

For now, the hospital is only for checkups. The Carlsons grew up in Woodbury, and the family now lives in New Richmond, Wisconsin. They were able to take Jacqueline home from the hospital a few weeks ago. Other than a feeding tube and taking care of the small wound on her shoulder, Jacqueline is like any normal infant. 

"To see her get to this point in that kind of a time frame is really pretty inspirational to think of the will to live for a baby," said Jacqueline's grandfather, Kevin Joyce.

"Babies are really remarkable that they can recover so quickly," Tara Carlson said.

"She's going to be be tough as nails," Chad Carlson said.

Jacqueline is named after her grandmother, who died of lung cancer four months before she was born.

A fundraiser for Jacqueline Carlson takes place from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale. She was born with a rare form of cancer in November.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-12. The proceeds will help cover the medical expenses being incurred for Jacqueline's treatment.
"For the Benefit of Jacqueline Carlson,"

Mail to: Anchor Bank, 1920 Donegal Drive Woodbury, MN 55125 (or drop off at any Anchor Bank Twin City location)

To stay updated on Jacqueline's progress, visit: