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Kids Like Mikayla Need You Now

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It all began with a stomach ache.

When Mikayla was just 4 years old, she began suffering from awful stomach pains and night terrors.

Her worried parents took her to doctors. X-rays initially seemed to show that she was just badly constipated. But mom Sarah just knew her daughter’s pains were far more serious.

That’s when the family’s pediatrician scheduled Mikayla for an ultrasound at Children’s Hospital.  Within an hour, Sarah was told that her beloved daughter had a tumour the size of a grapefruit

It was Stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma. Cancer – the word every parent silently dreads. And so the family’s fight to save their daughter began.

Sarah and her husband will tell you, donors to the Children’s Hospital Foundation played a significant role in that fight too.

“Without donors’ support, the equipment that we rely on simply wouldn’t be available. Without the wonderful nurses and doctors, there’s a chance our little girl wouldn’t be with us today.”

Generous donor support of our hospital is critical in our efforts to help sick kids. Your gifts buy equipment. They fund research. And they support the special services that give extra care to the families of children in danger.

Right now, we are raising money for urgently needed equipment like vital sign monitors, so that we are ready for every child who needs us. Each vital sign monitor costs $6,000 and we are need of six. While you read Mikayla’s story and think about the epic battle this little girl faced so bravely, will you consider helping us by making a special gift today?

Over the next eighteen months, Mikayla fought her way through six rounds of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, and 20 rounds of radiation.

She was in isolation for an entire month! Finally, doctors were able to  operate to remove her tumour and her kidney. You probably find it hard to imagine how a four-year-old’s body could endure all this.

Like Mikayla’s parents, we are incredibly moved by the dedication of the health care team who cared for her.  And who helped the family make the best of a terrible and terrifying situation. Sarah remembers,

“They do everything to give you the comforts of home. One nurse named Dana was awesome. Even when Mikayla was so cranky and in pain and itching like crazy, Dana made her laugh and smile. She was so reassuring and easy for me to talk to. They always came with something fun for her – crafts and games and toys. They even have a clown! He would stand between the double doors of the isolation unit and perform tricks for us.”

I know you will want to hear how Mikayla is doing. Well, she is in grade one, she loves school, and loves being with her teachers and her friends and feeling “normal.”  She likes to colour, dress up and raid her mother’s make-up drawer. Unfortunately recently, Mikayla has been very ill again. We have discovered that she has an antibody in her spinal fluid which is slowly attacking her body and her brain. Doctors have started her on a new chemotherapy-like treatment

You can imagine how tired everyone is. This family really are running on empty. But we will be here for Mikayla and her family just as long as they need us. And we know you will, too.

Today, in honour of Mikayla’s strength and courage – and in tribute to all the children we care for throughout the year – will you take a moment to donate? Your special donation will help to purchase essential equipment like vital signs monitors and other urgent needs so we can care for children like Mikayla.

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