Britney & Zarah’s Cancer Fight

Mother, Britney and daughter, Zarah are both in the fight against cancer. Bills are piling up as Richard (partner/father) has had to take a lot of time off. Britney had to give up her job to care for Zarah & has not been able to return to work since Zarah’s diagnosis. Please read their story below. 

“On October 18, 2016 our baby took a tumble off the bed and we were concerned about concussion or possible broken arm, little did we know it turned into something that would change our lives forever.

We took our baby girl to the hospital to have X-rays done and to be checked over, that’s when I noticed a rash. I told the nurses my concern with the rash and the doctor came back in. It was petechia (which indicates low platelets). They did blood work and we waited.

I can still hear the doctors that night “is this correct?!” And I heard her making hundreds of phone calls. “Should I tell them it could be that or should I wait for you”.

The local peds doctor came in bright and early to explain to us what was found. Our baby had 10x higher amount of white blood cells and platelets were so low she was in a dangerous spot. That is when the Doctor explained to us my 15 month old baby girl probably had cancer.

They needed to start iv fluids fast but her little veins were not cooperating, she was poked over 25 times that first day.

We had to take the ambulance to Saskatoon right away and we were met with about 5 doctors. It was extremely overwhelming.

With in days, bone marrow samples, blood work, platelets, blood transfusions etc. It came back our daughter was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and she started treatment immediately.

The next days are a blur now, emotional, stressful, and depressing. Trying to figure out what we were going to do for our other children was one of our main concerns also. Where were we going to stay? How were we going to continue to pay for our needs? And the list went on.

We are extremely thankful for the Ronald McDonald house here in Saskatoon, the house has became our second home, and most importantly all the workers and volunteers have became our second family!

While Zarah had some of her harsh chemos we were not allowed to leave Saskatoon! Once Zarahs chemos slowed down we had finally got the ok to go home and checked out of RMH after 123 days! What a relief to get to our home!

Life hasn’t been so grand, since Zarah was diagnosed she has faced many infections, viruses, and the latest appendicitis. But If can tell you all one thing, Zarah is one of the strongest, determined and so patient little girl I will ever know!

Back in 2010 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer They did a LEEP surgery surgery, which removes the cancer cells from the cervics and I was ok just to go for my regular Pap smears up until 2016.

I had missed my regular Pap smear as my main concern was my kids.

September 2017, after fighting with my body with complications, heavy bleeding, blood clots and major pain I was able to get into a gynaecologist in Saskatoon! That is when we learned after my Pap smear, my worst fear, my cervical cancer had returned. My gynaecologist suggested that in my best interest, we should just do a hysterectomy...I’m 30 years old, having more kids wasn’t in my future, I just needed to be healthy for my family. So I waited for that surgery date.

I’m now waiting to hear if I will be needing chemo treatments or the surgery did the trick and I will be ok!

As a family we count our blessings every minute of the day because we just never know what is around the corner...”. Britney


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Organizer and beneficiary

Shawna YQuintin 
Saskatoon, SK
Britney Durell 
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