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Brooksville toddler relapses after being diagnosed with rare cancer

Ezra Richards was diagnosed with liver cancer
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Posted at 9:03 PM, Nov 10, 2021

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — A Brooksville toddler relapses after being diagnosed with a rare cancer nearly two years ago.

Doctors diagnosed Ezra Richards with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer, in November 2019. He received chemotherapy and numerous surgeries. He also had a liver transplant. The toddler turns three-years-old next month.

Ezra's parents, Lauren and Joseph Richards, said despite numerous hospital visits their son remains happy.

"He's just the happiest kid. We had him dressed as Jake from State Farm for Halloween and he ran around trick-or-treating with all the other kids. You would have no idea," said his mother Lauren Richards.

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Ezra's parents said their son had two scans, one in April and another in August. The scans were clear.

"There was nothing and this was cured so we went in on a Monday, Nov. 1, so two years to the original diagnosis to the day. It was just a routine CT scan just to make sure nothing was there and then the following day he was going to get his chemo port removed so they went to do the scan and they found masses on his lungs," said Richards.

Ezra's parents are seeking treatment for their son at a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. They said a biopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

"Pray with everything you actually have, share this, have that church pray and this church pray and your family and that family. If we can get the whole world praying for our son that is our goal in doing this interview," said Richards.

The Richards own a coffee shop, The Bean Barn, in Brooksville. Customers have asked how they may help.

"The best thing is you can stop by the shop and show your support by purchasing food or drinks through the barn," said Richards.

The Richards said they appreciate the love and support from the community.

"It's heart-wrenching. There are no words to explain how we feel," said Joseph Richards.

According to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, hepatoblastoma is a type of liver cancer that is usually found in babies and children up to age 3. Hepatoblastoma is rare, diagnosed in fewer than one in a million children.