A Mother's Journey with her young daughter through Cancer

A Mother's Journey with her young daughter through Cancer
Renee with her daughter Ava

Renée encourages everyone wear a Daffodil pin in April to show your support for all Canadians living with cancer and their caregivers!

Her Daughter Ava's story

One of the worst fears a parent can hear became reality for Renée. Her infant daughter Ava was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow in and on the body on nerves, when she was a year and half old.

Following a positive diagnosis of NF1, they performed an MRI of the brain as gliomas in the brain are very common in people with NF. She had a brain tumor inside her optic chiasm that wrapped around both optic nerves.

Ava received 70 weeks of chemotherapy before she entered kindergarten to stabilize the brain tumor. She received chemotherapy weekly including MRI's every 3 months for the first 2 years. Ava also endured endless finger pokes, blood work and to make matters worse, lost her vision in her left eye. Somehow, she did all this with a smile on her face.

Luckily for Ava her tumor was not aggressive, so she was able to receive her chemo at a lower dose over a longer period of time. She occasionally got sick a day or two after treatment but for the most part it was her 'normal'. Following Ava's chemotherapy she had 5 grand mal seizures and was in a drug induced coma for 7 days as doctors tried to determine the cause.

"I'm glad to say that Ava is now 13, and what I would call stable." says Renée "She still has her brain tumor, internal tumors and one on her leg and back, however she continues to be optimistic".

"Ava loves the beach, volleyball, reading, seeing her friends and adores animals. Looking at Ava you'd never know what she has gone through nor any idea of her medical issues. It serves as a reminder that we have no idea what other people are going through, and that compassion goes a long way"

Renéenow volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society as a way to give back and give herself an outlet.

April is Daffodil Month and Renee has been working tirelessly. Meeting with MP's and MPP's, obtaining Proclamations in preparation for their yearly Summit/Lobby Day in Ottawa. They attend Parliament to meet with MP's and discuss how they can make cancer care better for all Canadians.

Renée's message to everyone "I'd be honored if you would take a pin and wear it in April to show your support for all Canadians living with cancer and their caregivers!"

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