“Angel” Donors Fly Boy With Cancer to Specialist in Ohio

A boy battling skin cancer is flying to Ohio for much-needed treatment, all thanks to generous donors.

Reef Carneson, 6, stepped onto a private plane Sunday morning to fly to a specialist in Cincinnati. Already a leukemia survivor, Baby Reef's cancer treatment, for his scalp and face, have left his immune system too compromised to take a commercial flight, where germs would put him at risk for infection.

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After a seeing a report on NBC4 about the Carneson's family's struggle to stay in America -- they're South African natives here so Reef could be treated -- the family received several offers for help. The outpouring of love and support has been uplifting for the family.

"So many angels have come out since they saw the news," Lydia Carneson said. "We've been so blessed."

The Carneson's ultimately accepted an offer from the Sky Hope Network to fly them to Cincinnati and back. The Network learned of Baby Reef's plight from his Facebook page.

Reef was excited to be able to see the specialist, but he was looking forward to something else, too -- he's never seen snow before.

Reef has skin cancer on his head, along with several other complications stemming from the treatment he has endured. He was diagnosed with lymphoma when he was 5 months old, then developed a graft-versus-host disease after undergoing a bone marrow transplant. Medicine made his skin sensitive to the sun, causing him to developed skin cancer. He also has other issues that complicate his development.

Cincinnati doctors will try to figure out why Reef's health is not improving.

NBC4 reporter Angie Crouch contributed to this report.

An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated from whom Sky Hope Network learned about Reef.

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