Four-year-old Langford resident Hannah Day is back in hospital with a new form of cancer, only months after a previous cancer went into remission.
Hannah was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, in 2012 and underwent 13 months of chemotherapy, before the Stage 4 cancer finally went into remission.
Now Hannah, just days before she was set to go on a trip to Disney World, has been diagnosed with leukemia, likely a result of the treatment for her first cancer.
“They deemed Hannah to be cancer free but when they went back and looked at the MRI, now they’re saying there’s signs the leukemia was there before she even finished her first treatment,” said family friend and fundraising organizer Kim Roost.
The family was all set to head to Disney World and Orlando, Florida, thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation, but had to cancel the trip. One of Hannah’s greatest wishes was to meet Dora the Explorer at Universal Studios.
Hannah and her family are in Vancouver, where she is getting more chemotherapy at B.C. Children’s Hospital. The chemo is intended to put her body into remission, at which point she will receive a stem cell transplant.
“Basically wiping her body clean and starting from scratch,” Roost said.
If her body does not go into remission, there will be nothing more to do, Roost said.
“It’s definitely a struggle. The first time your kid’s diagnosed with cancer it’s the last thing you want to hear, let along getting a phone call for the second time,” Roost said.
While Hannah is in hospital neither of her parents are working and are having to pay for the usual expenses, along with expenses related to staying in Vancouver and some medical costs.
Roost started helping out with organizing fundraising during Hannah’s first bought with cancer. She didn’t know the family then, but heard about Hannah’s struggle, thought about her own daughter going through something similar and knew just had to help out.
“It’s completely heartbreaking,” Roost said.
She continues to help the family and there are a number of events coming up for everyone else to lend a hand.
A bottle drive is taking place Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Alpine businesses (2832 Millstream Rd.). There will be free hotdogs, chips, pop and coffee for people who drop off donations of either bottles or cash. Bottles Depots also have an account set up under Hannah’s name, so people can donate the money from recyclables there, even up island.
Loghouse Pub pub is hosting a burger night on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. to raise money for the family. Twenty dollars buys a burger, fries and a beer or cider. Roost will be selling tickets, which are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Some tickets will be available at the door.
The event will also have a silent auction and 50/50 draw. To donate items email the same address above.
A bank account has also been set up with the Coastal Community Credit Union, which has branches up Island. Email transfers are also accepted at the same email address.