Our story began on July 2, 2016 at the KOA campground in Cardinal. We had looked forward to taking the kids to the local KOA for months, but by Saturday -- our world as a family would be changed forever.
After a day of vomiting and lethargy, our 2 year old daughter Marnie went unconscious. She was transferred by a paramedic team to Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Immediately after a CT scan, Marnie was taken to the ICU and prepped for emergency surgery to release the pressure on her brain caused by a mass. 18.5 hours later, Marnie had successfully made it through a resection of 70% of the tumor that was taking up 1/4 of her brain. After 2 weeks recovering at home, Marnie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor know as an ETMR, an extremely rare tumor found in children 4 years old and younger. Her prognosis was dismal. Marnie was scheduled for a 2nd surgery to remove the tumor that remained.
Our treatment journey has seen us travel through three tumor removal surgeries at CHEO followed immediately by three rounds (months) of intense chemo. We then left for three months of stem cell transplants (three in total) at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. We arrived back to CHEO and quickly went into thirty three rounds of radiation treatment. We continue to receive MRI’s every three months to monitor her. Each LP was followed by two weeks of oral chemotherapy which we administered monthly at home. Only through the power of prayer, our faith in God and the amazing specialists, doctors, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, case workers and inter link nurses are we be able to claim that Marnie is now cancer free.
The Miracle Marnie Foundation has been created to aid in making a difference by bringing a light into the darkness of childhood cancer. We hope to help bring awareness through education, advocating and providing a voice for the countless hundreds, if not thousands of families who are in the childhood cancer fight.
Our heroes are both of our little girls who through this journey of cancer showed hero like qualities in the adversities that they were faced with.
Marnie showed it throughout her fight with her strength and determination to see through every procedure and protocol with a smile. Her sister Ada showed an amazing character while her family battled this terrible disease and helped love on her sister as she overcame her own challenges that having a sibling with cancer bring.
The girls will be attending Camp Trillium this summer and we are so excited for them to have fun and Mommy and Daddy to have a much needed break from everyday challenges. We love that there is a place where Marnie and Ada will fit in no matter what....that every child there is a sibling or a patient who has been through a similar journey.
Find out more at koacarecamps.org