1-year-old from Columbia braves illness, awaits liver transplant

Columbia Missourian | Anne Marie Hankins

COLUMBIA — Xander Barr is affectionately referred to as "Xander the Brave" by family and friends.

The 1-year-old was diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, a childhood overgrowth disorder, right after was born in January 2014. Three months later, he was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer.

"The scariest thing about the syndrome is the likelihood of cancer," said Randee Barr, Xander's mother. "Children with BWS are 600 percent more likely to be diagnosed with childhood cancer."

Xander underwent chemotherapy treatments and had surgery at MU Women's and Children's Hospital to remove a tumor on his liver. In November 2014, he was declared cancer free, but his cancer returned in January, and this time, he needed a liver transplant. Continue reading