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Boy Recovers After 169 Cancerous Tumors Removed

(CNN) - Living for a cure, a Wisconsin teen is hoping to become the first person to survive a rare form of cancer after doctors removed 169 tumors from the boy's body.
(CNN) - Living for a cure, a Wisconsin teen is hoping to become the first person to survive a rare form of cancer after doctors removed 169 tumors from the boy's body.

"I love the sound of the records."

Denver, Cash and Campbell; they’re just a few of the artists in 13-year-old Brody Hellendrung's record collection. An ear for the classics isn't the only thing that sets Brody apart from others his age.

Last summer Brody had his gall bladder removed after severe pains alerted doctors it wasn't functioning.

During the surgery, doctors discovered white lesions in his abdomen and referred him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

"She was very honest with me and looked point blank at me and said this is the most cancer I've ever seen in a kid,” says Brody’s mother, Jill Hellendrung.

Brody wished it was all a dream.

"For a while I would pinch myself every now and then, thinking if I pinch myself hard enough, I'll wake up,” says Brody.

Brody’s cancer is rare and doctors gave him little time to live.

"It's DSRCT or Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors, very rare and there's no cure,” says Jill. “She looked right at me and said if you don't get any treatments you're looking at months with Brody. With treatments: possibly two to three years."

In September, Brody started an aggressive form of chemotherapy.

"So after he finished the nine treatments, then we went to MD Anderson in Texas,” says Jill. “They go in, they cut him from his breast bone to his pelvic bone and they open him up and the doctor, she looks at every single organ and removed every possible tumor she can see."

They removed 169 tumors.

Since then, Brody's been through radiation and currently has no evidence of disease, but unlike other cancers, they can't call it remission.

"When it comes back it seems there are not many that have rebounded and went and gone no evidence of disease after,” says Jill. “I don't know how much time I'm going to have left with him. I hope it's for a long time, I hope I get to see him grow up and do awesome things. But, I don't know. I have no idea."

And while there are many unknowns, Brody has one goal in mind.

"I want to be the first desmoplastic small round cell tumor patient to be cured,” he says.

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