Dallan's Cancer Journey

Dallan's story.
He was born on Mother's day 2009, with a rare condition called Diaphormatic Hernia. Essentially meaning that his diaphragm had a hole in it at birth, that had allowed all of his lower organs to come through and suffocate his heart muscle above the diaphragm. He endured surgery on his 2nd month birthday at Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital. He recovered well and still has a scar all the way across his abdomen from this Hero's journey.
Up until this Halloween, Dallan had been a very healthy, active, curious and handsome little friend in our community. He and his sister are always riding their bikes and going on adventures in their neighborhood. They attend Landing Trail School and are sweet and friendly kids.
On Halloween day 2017 Dallan started complaining of pain in his left leg, but was determined to he still go trick or treating, but he did suffer with pain all the way through.  (Thinking it was just growing pains) His parents treated him with Tylenol and hot compresses, which helped, but didn't really take the pain away entirely.
By November 8th; after a week of this mysterious pain complaints, Dallan's mom (Rennie) took him to see their family Dr. whom ordered X-rays.  (The consensus was that the cause was probably dehydration and/or growing pains). They got the X-ray done that day.
That night was a very long one; Dallan's pain had increased and was constant, he and mom were up all night. This moment was when they knew this was something serious. Mom called the Dr. first thing in the morning, asking some guidance about the change in the severity of his pain.  The Dr. asked them to come into the office to discuss X-ray results ASAP.
At the office, the Dr. advised the X-ray had found a mass on his left femur. They were told to take Dallan straight to Stollery Children's Hospital, Emergency. When they arrived there, the hospital staff checked his online results and advised that they required consult of the orthopedic and pediatric teams to asses Dallan. They decided it was not an emergency and recommended to book an MRI. The family were sent home and told someone would be in touch within 7-10 days to book the MRI. No pain medication or diagnosis was provided, although Tylenol and Advil were not helping at this time.  The family went home to wait.
On November 10th they got a call to book the MRI at the Stollery on November 15 and Orthopedic consult the following day.  Results of the MRI were completed quickly as the family was 30 minutes away from the hospital when their family Dr. called to advise "MRI results are online, go straight back to emergency". Upon arrival the hospital staff checked MRI results; both teams advised that they wouldn't let Dallan leave the hospital until they diagnosed this.  Dallan was immediately admitted, with mom by his side.  They began proper pain management round the clock.
They scheduled a CT guided biopsy on Nov. 17th, which was rebooked for the following Monday Nov. 20th. The pediatric Dr. told Rennie that this is very likely a bone infection that was quite common. She noted that they had also found a second mass on the same bone by his hip. They needed to do the biopsy to confirm and diagnose in order to treat it. They started him on IV of antibiotics just to be safe.
At 1pm on Nov. 20th, Dallan had a panic attack before the surgery on the table, as he was scared and wanted to go home.  Mom snuggled close to him until he was relaxed enough to be sedated.  Biopsy went as scheduled; and was completed on time, within an hour he was back in his room recovering. He received oxygen and was on IV morphine for the pain every three hours from there on out.
The family was advised that the results of the biopsy should be in within a day or two, which ended up being the end of the week. Since the surgery Dallan's pain had been well controlled. He'd begun eating a bit and spent his time playing video games and enjoying visitors.
On Friday Nov. 24th at 6:30pm, three doctors came in and asked Sean and Rennie (Dad and Mom) to discuss Dallan's diagnosis with them in a private room. They advised that the results were in and that this was not a bone infection. Dallan had Cancer. Specifically, a rare condition called Langerhans Cell Hystiocytosis. They were advised not to research online and told that a pediatric Oncologist had been called to come and meet with them to provide more details. This would likely take a few days, although the Dr. had been given all the information about Dallan's case. This was devastating; Learning this terrible news itself, but the impact of having to wait for further information, and treatment made it worse.
The Oncologist attended their room and met with Sean and Rennie on Sunday Nov. 26th around 2pm. He confirmed the diagnosis of Langerhans, as mentioned by the team a few days before.  He said it is not curable but is highly treatable.  They usually use Chemotherapy, Radiation, and often Surgery with the removal of a bone, replaced by a titanium bone.  At this time Dallan could go home to continue his recovery from surgery there. The Oncology department would be in touch in order to begin a treatment plan that could include any number of rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.
They have been home since, attending to missed pets, older siblings and toys. They are just enjoying being together. Dallan has not returned to school as of yet.
They are waiting for booking of a full body scan to determine stage, progression, and confirmation that there has been no spreading or metastasizing. These details have to be determined before treatment can begin. 
I decided to open this page for the family to help cover the loss of wages, as Sean has been off work as a Pipefitter to be with his family. Rennie has MS and works as photographer and hairdresser from home, her business has been put on hold. Any donations will help to cover the costs of this ongoing ordeal for the family, and help them to support Dallan through his journey. (Parking costs $15-$20/day, gas costs are high for traveling to the hospital at 100km round trip, etc.).
Local people can provide whatever they see fit. Meals are helpful, and donations of Christmas essentials as this year will be a tough one for them. Please comment on this page or on facebook community page to help out. We have some local ladies who have generously agreed to collect any physical items. If you have any questions please ask away! 
As a fellow family who has had a child who suffered through childhood cancer in Gibbons. I wanted to create this page for the family to alleviate the stress of trying to keep people informed, and to provide a place to share pictures, updates and thank people for their generosity.  As many of us know, having an ill child is all consuming. Knowing that they face a life threatening illness is even worse. All that becomes important is supporting your child through this, and to promote wellness. All the support we received through our amazing Gibbons Community, and from the Yardley family themselves was so helpful. This generosity helped us to be able to keep our home, feed our family, and attend the hospital without worrying about what we'd have to sacrifice in order to focus on the health of our child.
(Our son Nolan, is best friends with Dallan. They compared belly scars by the pool in summer, as Nolan lost a kidney from Cancer in 2014 at the age of 3. Who has been off chemotherapy for 2 years).
–Miranda Solomon

  • Lynne & Charles Pregitzer 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Duane Hoffman  
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Danielle Dagg 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Dani McGufficke 
    • $25 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Dallan Yardley 
Sturgeon County, AB
Sean Yardley 
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