Less than two months after celebrating the birth of her first child on social media, beloved real estate agent Shea Hicks-Whitfield on HGTV’s Bargain Block, shared a startling update: Her infant son Beau has been diagnosed with cancer. Here is the latest…
Hicks Whitfield says Baby Beau is #TinyButTough
Hicks Whitfield was pregnant while filming most of the second season of “Bargain Block’s” with hosts Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas, so fans were excited for her baby’s arrival during the summer of 2022. She and husband Teri Whitfield welcomed baby Bo James on July 29, and excitedly announced the arrival on Instagram on August 4, indicating that he weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces. But it turns out that on the day of their happy announcement, they were also absorbing the terrifying news.
On September 30, Hicks Whitfield posted a sweet family photo and video of baby Boo cooing in his crib, along with a heartbreaking update on his health on Instagram.
“Parenthood has proven to be a rollercoaster ride, and Terry and I have been blessed to be together through our ups and downs,” she wrote. “Long nights and short days; soiled diapers and baby washing; Late night bottles and early morning bottles. Beau James has made all of these experiences worthwhile. It’s the blessing we didn’t know we needed, the angel we didn’t deserve.”
Next, Hicks Whitfield shared, “Five days into our parenting experience, we received news that neither parent wanted to hear: Poe was born with a rare form of cancer. Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare form of cancer that affects 300- 400 babies a year, and our rainbow baby was officially in that exclusive group.”
according to Dana Farber Cancer Center, Which works in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital on childhood cancers, Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) occurs when a child has too many Langerhans cells, which are normally in the skin to help fight infection and destroy foreign material in the body.
With LCH, Dana-Farber experts explained that “extra Langerhans cells circulate through the blood and accumulate in certain parts of the body, where they can damage tissue or form tumors.” Often, these cells accumulate in the bones, but they can also accumulate in the skin, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, lung, or brain.
Hicks Whitfield did not provide specifics about the extent of Baby Beau’s LCH, but wrote: “We have been blessed with wonderful healthcare support, and our village has provided the prayer and positive energy needed for Beau to thrive, despite his diagnosis.”
“We are sharing this message on behalf of families affected by Langerhans’ histiocytosis, and other forms of cancer that affect thousands of families across the country,” she continued. “As Children’s Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, we thought it appropriate to add our story to these 43 children diagnosed with cancer every day. Learn more about how you can support the cause and please, keep our families in your prayers.”
Hicks-Whitfield included several hashtags in her post, including #TinyButTough, which were also the words on Beau’s little piece in the video she posted.
HGTV colleagues and fans send words of hope and encouragement
Within hours of Hicks-Whitfield’s Instagram post, thousands of friends and fans liked her and left comments with good wishes and prayers for strength for their families.
“I keep you all up in prayer,” wrote HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod and added two red-hearted emojis.
“Fixer To Fabulous” host Jenny Mars wrote,oh my god oh shit. I have no words other than that I feel very sorry. Praying for healing for your precious lover. You are loved!!”
Several fans have left comments as well, including one person who wrote, “Bo James!! You’ve got this. You’re strong and made to perfection. We love you guys and pray for the family and encouragement. Wait there daily Shi.”
Another fan wrote, “I am so sorry to hear this, I pray for this beautiful child and you and your husband as well as all those affected by childhood cancer.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital He says treatment for childhood LCH depends on a combination of factors and is different for each child, but can include surgery and chemotherapy. Sometimes children get better without interventions, but usually several specialists are asked to monitor if the condition affects different organs and systems in the body.