Del. Woman Battles Rare Cancer - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Woman Battles Rare Cancer

Posted:
Shown at right is Kaitlyn Vis (Photo: WBOC) Shown at right is Kaitlyn Vis (Photo: WBOC)

WYOMING, Del.- Twenty-one-year-old Kaitlyn Vis of Wyoming, Del., can only use 30 percent of her lungs.

"I'm on oxygen 24-7," Vis said.

Her lungs are collapsing. She uses an oxygen tank to stay alive.

Vis was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease in December.

"They (doctors) didn't know what to do with it or how to treat it," she said.

Kaitlyn said doctors initially diagnosed her with bronchitis. Then her symptoms became worse. The family began seeking help at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore.

This is not the first time the Vis family has suffered heartache.

"I don't want to lose another daughter. I already lost one two years ago to a rare cancer," said Wendy Vis, Kaitlyn's mother.

Wendy Vis said her daughter Jennifer died in 2011. A collage of pictures decorate a frame in the living room to help keep her memory alive.

Family members say there is hope for Kaitlyn.

"We've already been through a big loss already. This is just a speed bump and we're just going to get over it and get past it," said Kaniela Vis, Kaitlyn's older brother.

Experts believe the disease could be caused by infections of the lungs, toxins in the environment, such as asbestos or silica dust. It could also be caused by certain medications or chronic autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the National Institutes of Health, interstitial lung disease includes more than 100 chronic lung disorders.

Kaitlyn suffers from idiopathic pulmonary failure, meaning tissue deep in the lungs becomes thick and stiff, or scarred, over time.

Doctors say there is no cure.

Experts say many live three to five years after diagnosis.

Kaitlyn will be placed on a transplant list on April 16.

"We can receive a phone call the next day or it could take up to three months," said Wendy Vis.

Until the family receives that call, they're busy planning fundraisers to help pay for the nearly $20,000 double lung transplant.

Due to Kaitlyn's condition she can no longer work. She says each day is challenging.

"I have to wear a mask when I go out in public. I can't walk in stores because I get tired quickly. I can't even hang out. Most of the friends that I did have, they left me because I can't even hang out with them," said Kaitlyn Vis.

Kaitlyn and her fiance are hoping she receives a transplant quickly, so they can plan their wedding and a long life together.

"We'll get there eventually," said Kaitlyn Vis.

According to experts at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, idiopathic pulmonary failure is not reportable in the state.

That's because this particular disease does not have an exact cause.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman Injured After Fall From Delaware Amusement Park Ride

    Woman Injured After Fall From Delaware Amusement Park Ride

    07/26/2017 13:08:00 -04:002017-07-26 17:08:00 GMT
    Wednesday, July 26 2017 1:09 PM EDT2017-07-26 17:09:01 GMT
    (Photo credit: Funland)(Photo credit: Funland)
    A woman has been hospitalized after falling from a ride at a boardwalk amusement park in Rehoboth Beach.More
    A woman has been hospitalized after falling from a ride at a boardwalk amusement park in Rehoboth Beach.More
  • Six Arrested After Ocean City Strong Arm Robbery

    Six Arrested After Ocean City Robbery

    07/25/2017 18:05:00 -04:002017-07-25 22:05:00 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 6:05 PM EDT2017-07-25 22:05:05 GMT
    MGN OnlineMGN Online
    A verbal altercation between two groups led to a strong arm robbery and six people being arrested on Monday, according to the town of Ocean City.More
    A verbal altercation between two groups led to a strong arm robbery and six people being arrested on Monday, according to the town of Ocean City.More
  • Rehoboth Man Arrested for 5th DUI

    Rehoboth Man Arrested for 5th DUI

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 2:02 PM EDT2017-07-26 18:02:02 GMT
    Wednesday, July 26 2017 2:02 PM EDT2017-07-26 18:02:02 GMT
    Delaware State Police say they arrested a Rehoboth Beach man for his 5th DUI offense after he crashed his moped while his son was sitting on his lap.More
    Delaware State Police say they arrested a Rehoboth Beach man for his 5th DUI offense after he crashed his moped while his son was sitting on his lap.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Thousands Turn Out for 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim

    Thousands Turn Out for 92nd Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim

    Thousands of visitors turned out to watch dozens of ponies make their 92nd annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague on Wednesday morning. 

    The famed Saltwater Cowboys rounded up approximately 150 ponies living on Assateague for the swim, which got underway at around 7 a.m. 

    More

    Thousands of visitors turned out to watch dozens of ponies make their 92nd annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague on Wednesday morning. 

    The famed Saltwater Cowboys rounded up approximately 150 ponies living on Assateague for the swim, which got underway at around 7 a.m. 

    More
  • Close-up View of the 2017 Chincoteague Pony Swim

    Close-up View of the 2017 Chincoteague Pony Swim

    WBOC's Lauren Hitch had a close-up view of this morning's 92nd annual Chincoteague Pony Swim. In fact, she was close she could have reached out and touched one from the small boat she was aboard! In less than 5 minutes time, about 150 ponies successfully made the swim from Assateague to Chincoteague. 

    WBOC's Lauren Hitch had a close-up view of this morning's 92nd annual Chincoteague Pony Swim. In fact, she was close she could have reached out and touched one from the small boat she was aboard! In less than 5 minutes time, about 150 ponies successfully made the swim from Assateague to Chincoteague. 

    More
  • Three More Suspects Arrested in Bank of Delmarva Holdup

    Three More Suspects Arrested in Bank of Delmarva Holdup

    Detectives with the Salisbury Police Department have arrested three more suspects in connection with the Dec. 9 armed robbery of the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. 

    More

    Detectives with the Salisbury Police Department have arrested three more suspects in connection with the Dec. 9 armed robbery of the Bank of Delmarva branch on Eastern Shore Drive. 

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices