On May 30, 2017, we brought in our 12 year old daughter Zoë for blood tests due to a few weeks of complaining of headaches, and aches in her arms and legs. By the next morning, it was confirmed she had B-cell ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). She was immediately hospitalized and began her chemotherapy regimen, a “high risk” protocol due to her age. She had to stop school (she was finishing her first year of high school- a high-achieving student in a “defi-sports” program), and stop all extra-curricular activities- including competitive swimming, a sport she was doing 6 days/ week and competing provincially and beyond --- as she could not be in public or be in a swimming pool in order to reduce risk of infections with the intense immunosuppression.
Zoë has since gone through multiple hospitalizations, anesthesias, lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirations, central lines, transfusions, and through it all the nausea and vomiting affecting everything she does and can do on a daily basis. She has little energy to run or even walk for any significant distance. For an athlete who was constantly on the go, whether in the pool, on the cross-country trail, on the track, or in the gym- it has been a devastating blow to have to stop everything, and then to not feel well enough to want to do anything most of the time.
Friends asked how they could help Zoë get through this. Our wish would be to increase quality of life for Zoë, and ensure she feels as “normal” as possible during this period of more intense chemotherapy, and even for when she is allowed to be back at school (estimated to be in 2018, although she will continue chemotherapy until at least 2020 and so will continue to have hospital treatments throughout) -- whether it be for home tutoring for school, sports personal trainer/ coach/ physiotherapy, and special outings/ little trips as allowed by her illness and blood counts. Any money raised would go towards achieving these goals.
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