CHILDHOOD CANCER MONTH: Columbia child overcomes stomach tumor through Prisma Health treatment

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — According to the World Health Organization, around 300,000 children were diagnosed with cancer in 2020 alone.

One of the children diagnosed with cancer last year was Faheem Hamm, who lives right here in the Midlands.

“It was hard for me to have my beautiful baby be diagnosed but there was something in my heart telling me there was something wrong with him,” said Faheem’s mom Courtney McCullough.

Three year old Faheem Hamm’s battle with neuroblastoma began over a year ago.

“He was having a lot of different complications such as fevers that would last for five days. Every single month, he would have a fever that was unbreakable,” McCullough said. “We would take him to the pediatrician and they would tell us to give him Tylenol or Motrin. That’s all they were prescribing him.”

His condition got worse.

“We tried to get him out of the bed on my birthday and he collapsed on the floor,” Faheem’s mom said. “I called the ambulance and it picked me and him up. When we got to Prisma Health ER, they did an ultrasound and MRI.”

The results showed a grapefruit-sized tumor in his stomach pushing on his kidney and leaning on his spine. It also revealed cancer in his spine and knees.

Starting last October, Faheem underwent five rounds of chemotherapy. The tumor in his stomach eventually shrunk to the size of a golf ball.

“So in February, they were able to take the tumor out of his belly,” McCullough said. “Right after that, we had to go to Charlotte for his stem cell transplants.”

After five months in Charlotte, Faheem returned to the Midlands and started radiation treatment. Courtney says it’s been a tough experience but thanks her support system. 

“If I didn’t have a husband who was there for me, supporting me and swaps out with me at the hospital so we don’t mentally go crazy, I don’t know what I would do,” she said.

This week, Faheem begins therapy at Prisma Health to boost his immune system. 

“I’m blessed to have the hospital family we have at Prisma Health. They all love Fafa so much,” McCullough said. “From the lobby to the PICU, they love him and know his name. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been able to get through so much of this. They are there emotionally and it means a lot to us.”

Categories: Local News, Richland