Sophie’s Story ~
Sophie Terasaki has got to be the kindest, cheeriest, most mature little 9 year old that you will ever meet. She loves to run and play with her friends, and always puts 110 % effort into anything she does.
She loves to bake and is a talented artist and painter. She excels in school, and is a friend to everyone she meets.
Sophie’s immediate family consists of her mom, Jennifer Terasaki, who teaches half-time at Betty Gibson School and her step-dad and full-time parent, Bruce Bumstead, who teaches photography at Crocus Plains Secondary School. Together… Jennifer, Bruce and Sophie make a happy little family of three who enjoy camping, cooking, creating art, adventuring, going to music festivals, and playing lots of board games.
Sadly, things have changed for this little happy family of three…
Summer holidays never happened this year for Sophie and her family.
In June, 2019, at the tail end of her grade 4 year, Sophie began to notice a pain in her right knee. The pain would come and go and didn’t seem to bother her much, and her family thought it was just growing pains. In July, when she went with a walk with her mom, Sophie started limping. So, Jennifer took Sophie to see their family doctor. Jennifer wasn’t worried, but thought she should make sure it wasn’t anything serious.
Unfortunately, it was serious. Thankfully, her family doctor ordered an x-ray and asked Jennifer and Sophie back the following day. With sadness and compassion in her voice, the doctor said that something was growing on Sophie’s knee. She called the Children’s Hospital first thing Monday morning to make an urgent appointment, and the family was off to Winnipeg the next day.
What followed was a series of tests, scans, doctor’s meetings, two surgeries and countless trips to the city and even more sleepless nights filled with worry and anxiety. On August 2nd, the family met with a pediatric oncologist in Cancer Care at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre. The final diagnosis was Osteosarcoma….bone cancer.
The very same cancer that Terry Fox had.
Thankfully, the cancer hadn’t spread beyond her knee. Chemotherapy started for Sophie the following week.
Sophie’s treatment schedule is very rigorous as her cancer is malignant and aggressive. She will be receiving regular chemo treatments lasting 10-12 months at the Health Science Centre, along with a major surgery on her knee that will happen around November.
Once school begins, Sophie will only be able to go to Grade 5 sporadically, as it will depend on how she is feeling and her treatment schedule. Bruce will continue to work and manage the household in Brandon, and Jennifer will be in Winnipeg with Sophie for long stretches of time.
Jennifer and Bruce’s lives have been turned upside down as they try to figure out how to manage countless trips to Winnipeg and how to look after a very sick kiddo. It has been a very stressful time fraught with worries and sadness. It’s hard to find a silver lining when there is so much uncertainty and darkness, but they still find reasons to smile and to hope.
Sophie, Jen and Bruce are facing Sophie’s cancer together as a team. It’s hard to be brave sometimes, but they try to dig deep to find courage as they move forward to face this together. When Jen told Sophie that it was ok to complain, Sophie immediately replied that “complaining never helps to fix anything, so I won’t complain.” And she hasn’t complained.
Even when she is hurting and too weak to brush her hair, she still makes the effort to smile. Bruce and Jennifer take that lesson to heart and are following Sophie’s lead. They will do their best to smile and be brave for Sophie, because she deserves it, and is the strongest 9 year old that you will ever meet.
We have created this GoFundMe account for Sophie, Jen, and Bruce to try and help this family deal with the difficult journey ahead by alleviating some of the financial burdens that Jen and Bruce will face. Jen will need to be off work to care for Sophie and there will be many long trips into Winnipeg for the entire family.
This is where we as a community can come together to help Sophie.
Thank you in advance for any contribution you can make - it is very much appreciated.