You are helping kids with cancer, like Victoria, cope during the most difficult challenge of their lives.
While at daycare in February 2022, Victoria fell ill. She was feverish and complained of a sore back. In fact, for a few days, the five-year-old hadn’t been her usual spunky self. She was tired, and her mom, Angela and father Jean-Martin noticed their daughter had bruising.
Concerned, Jean-Martin brought his daughter to The Children's Emergency Department. He was shocked by what happened next.
Within hours of stepping foot in the Hospital, Victoria was whisked to the 7th floor oncology unit.
Doctors broke the news to the family. Victoria had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a blood and bone marrow cancer. In less than 24 hours, the little girl started an intense, and harsh, 11-month chemotherapy regime. The goal: kill the leukemia cells and put the disease into remission.
How do you tell your five-year-old she has cancer?
“We didn’t shy away from using the word ‘cancer’ when we explained her illness, hospital stay, and treatments to our daughter,” said Angela. “We have close friends and family members with cancer, so she knew the word. I kept it simple, using terms a five-year-old could understand. I explained that some of her baby cells were sick and making her other cells sick too, and she needs medicine to get better.”
Still a long road ahead
At the start of 2023, Victoria transitioned to the second volley of her treatment protocol, which involves taking chemotherapy in pill form. The side effects are less severe. After losing her hair twice, the little girl's locks are growing back.
In a few weeks, Victoria, now 6 and a half years old, starts grade one and will even take the bus to school.
But there is still a way to go. Victoria’s treatment will continue until at least July 2024.
Thank you for your donation to The Children’s
Looking back on the last year of medical care at The Children’s, Angela says she and Victoria were most grateful for the Hospital’s Child Life activities. All of Child Life’s services are funded by donors like you. Angela and Victoria both loved pet therapy, Zoom bingo, and the arts and crafts activities. Plus, when she was feeling well, you’d be sure to find Victoria in the playroom. Despite being treated for cancer, Child Life services ensured Victoria could play house, dress up, and have fun just like every other child.
Your donations to The Children’s are helping Victoria heal. Angela describes Victoria as joy and light. When Victoria meets people, she gives them little compliments to make them feel good. And once you are Victoria’s friend, it is for life. Thank you for being there for Victoria!