Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women outside of skin cancer, with diagnosis rates as high as one in eight women (about 12 percent of women) in the U.S. But breast cancer mainly affects adult women, and it’s extremely rare for a young girl to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

One of the youngest patients ever diagnosed with breast cancer, however, is 8-year-old Chrissy Turner, a girl living in Utah. Chrissy discovered a lump on her chest in October, and was diagnosed with secretory carcinoma, an extremely rare form of the disease — and one that is more likely to be found in older women. At only 8 years old, Chrissy and her parents were devastated to find out it was cancer.

“I was scared to figure out what it was,” Chrissy told ABC TV. “But I knew I could fight it off and I hope that I can fight it off.”

Both of Chrissy’s parents — Annette and Troy Turner — have battled cancer themselves. Annette Turner had cervical cancer, while Troy is currently battling Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was first diagnosed when Chrissy was an infant and had relied on her energy and charm to get him through his first rounds of chemotherapy.

“She was our therapy when he was going through chemotherapy,” Annette told The Guardian. “She was always making us laugh and she’s got the wit of someone far beyond her age.”

Chrissy Turner
Chrissy Turner waiting for treatment at a hospital. Facebook / Chrissy's Alliance
Chrissy Turner
Chrissy Turner will be undergoing a mastectomy in December. Facebook / Chrissy's Alliance

Now, Chrissy will be undergoing a mastectomy in December to remove the cancerous breast tissue, as it’s too dangerous for a child her age to receive radiation. Fortunately, Chrissy’s doctor, Brian Bucher, believes she’ll recover as her type of cancer is “very treatable.”

“Chrissy will need to undergo a simple mastectomy to remove all of her remaining breast tissue, to prevent this cancer from coming back,” Bucher told The Guardian.

Annette’s best friend, Melissa Papaj, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Chrissy’s treatment, and is also sharing news of her progress on her Facebook page, Chrissy’s Alliance.

On her GoFundMe page, Papaj writes that Chrissy’s cancer is “a cancer that no specialist across the country has even seen in a child so young. In fact, 1 in 1,000,000 adults are diagnosed with this cancer and maybe only 15 cases to compare it to. Her case is being presented nationally and is being reviewed by top oncologists in the country along with being taken to the Utah state tumor board next week… Chrissy is in for the biggest fight of her life and the Turner Family needs all the help they can get.”

“We are going to fight this as a family,” Annette told The Guardian. “We are going to be there for Chrissy, no matter what.”