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Maternal stem-cell transplant may be last best hope for Hannah

Hannah Day, 4, of Langford, is all smiles in this picture taken last December. She undergoes surgery tomorrowv (March 19) in Vancouver, to receive stem cells from her mother. - Submitted photo
Hannah Day, 4, of Langford, is all smiles in this picture taken last December. She undergoes surgery tomorrowv (March 19) in Vancouver, to receive stem cells from her mother.
— image credit: Submitted photo

With Langford four year old Hannah Day due to receive a critical stem cell transplant from her mother Wednesday (March 19) in Vancouver, volunteers are organizing a fundraiser dance for her family this weekend.

Hannah has been on the minds of many in Greater Victoria since being diagnosed with leukemia, the second cancer diagnosis she has received in her young life. She remains weak from chemotherapy and radiation treatments related to her first diagnosis – a rare condition known as rhabdomyosarcoma.

At one point it was thought her only chance for survival lie in finding a perfect stem cell match for a transplant. A co-ordinated campaign to find such a match came up with candidates, but at this point Hannah is too weak to withstand the radiation needed for the transplant.

Family friend Kim Roost said a recent bone marrow biopsy revealed Hannah’s cancer is still prevalent.

The transplant from her mother is a risky procedure; a tough choice for a family running out of options.

The hope is that Hannah’s body will remember how to connect with her mother’s from the time of pregnancy and will accept the transplant.

“With a (transplant), ideally you’re not supposed to have cancer in your system,” Roost said.

Meanwhile, a dance at the Langford Legion this Saturday (March 22) will raise money for the Hannah Day Trust Account. Hannah’s parents have taken time off work and are renting accommodation in Vancouver to be with her.

The dance, organized by motorcycle club Solo Independent Riders, features local band Monkey Wrench, a 50/50 draw and a silent auction.

“The little girl is not doing too good, so we have made Hannah an honorary family member of SIR,” said club president Kim DuPont.

“We just wanted to help out. It’s just what our group represents. We want to help out the community.”

Tickets are on sale at the Langford Legion, 761 Station Ave., or at the door on the night of the dance.

Doors open at 7 p.m. with music starting at 8:30.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

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