Autumn’s Fight For Life

Original Story. Please see Updates for recent news!

Meet Autumn. This bright 12-year-old girl is smart, sassy, funny, compassionate, and one heck of a fighter. She hasn’t had a typical childhood like most of her classmates. At just four-and-a-half years old, Autumn was diagnosed with Monosomy 7 in her bone marrow and Leukaemia. On December 5, 2012, Autumn had a bone marrow transplant and subsequently contracted Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD). The GvHD put a hole in her intestines, which ultimately healed after she wasn’t fed for 10 days to give her little system time to heal. Autumn has had many more complications throughout her journey including a huge blood clot removed from her bladder, a sticky kidney valve, sores throughout her body, the loss of fingernails and toenails, and an infection that attacked her lungs. Unfortunately, Autumn’s lung function is currently at 21 percent and she recently suffered a complete collapse of one lung. There is room for optimism, however, because on June 10th Autumn went to the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto where she was assessed as a candidate for a double-lung transplant. The tests went well, and although she does have some spots on her liver, she has been approved. Right now, Autumn’s poorly functioning lungs are putting way too much stress on her heart and she requires oxygen all the time – especially if she is moving. When she sits still her oxygen levels are fine, but she has to sleep with a BIPAP machine. Just a short walk tires her out and she must sit to recover. After a few loose ends are tied up, Autumn will be placed on the waiting list for the double-lung transplant. As soon as she is on the waiting list, Autumn and her mother must fly to Toronto and wait until donor lungs are available and the transplant surgery can be completed. During this waiting period, Autumn and her mother will need to stay within an hour of the Hospital for Sick Kids at all times, so that they are immediately available if a donor is found. The medical professionals have indicated it could be a year to two years before donor lungs are available. When Autumn and her mother relocate to Toronto, they’ll be leaving her Dad, brothers, and younger sister behind. They are a single-income family and will soon need to support two separate households, as well as childcare for Autumn’s younger sister, who has special needs. Ideally, with such an extended absence and critical surgery, it would be nice if Autumn’s father and siblings could visit her in Toronto at some point. Additionally, with Autumn’s compromised lung functioning and delicate immune system, they need to remove the old carpeting from their home and replace it with much healthier flooring. While the Canadian healthcare system covers the cost of the surgery and medical procedures, not all medications are covered (thankfully their insurance covers the medicine that runs over a thousand dollars a month!) and none of the travel or living expenses for families with sick children are covered by provincial healthcare. There are so many costs for families with sick children that most of us don’t think of, like parking fees, meals for parents (only the children are fed by the hospital – and sometimes they want other favourite foods). Any donation that you can make to help Autumn and her family through this stressful journey as they wait for an indefinite time is welcome. Just as many hands make light work, many small donations add up and could lift this burden for the family!

Donations

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  • Nakita Sekhon 
    • $15 
    • 18 mos
  • April Chutskoff  
    • $36 
    • 18 mos
  • Angie Lee 
    • $50 
    • 20 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 20 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 20 mos
See all

Organizer

Sabrina Carlson 
Organizer
Abbotsford, BC
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