The family of a three-year-old Grande Prairie area girl who was recently diagnosed with cancer is looking for help. A GoFundMe page with a $65,000 goal has been started by Aria Leclair-Deschamps’ aunt Amanda Tennant.
Tennant says that’s the amount she thinks her family will need to help pay for travel costs between the city and the Stollery Children’s Hospital, where Aria is undergoing treatment for what could be the next two and a half years.
“When I was trying to crunch the numbers this is what I thought would be a good number to start at. Hopefully, we won’t need it all and we can donate it back to the Stollery if we don’t need all the funds but from what I figured that would be an appropriate number to help us get through this time.”
What started out as a cough Aria had earlier this month was diagnosed as T-Cell Lymphoma. That type of cancer is very rare in children but Aria has been given a 75 per cent chance that she will be fine. She underwent emergency surgery in Grande Prairie over the Easter weekend before being airlifted to the Stollery in Edmonton.
At the Stollery, doctors found a 10-inch by 2-inch tumour near Aria’s heart and lungs. She is currently in isolation and will be undergoing a new type of chemotherapy for a minimum of eight months. Despite everything, Tennant says Aria’s in good spirits.
“When you ask her, ‘how are you feeling today,’ she says, ‘I’m good, I’m okay, we go home now?’ And I’m like, ‘no, you still have some bugs in you that we’ve got to get out first [and] you’ve got to get big and strong’ and she’s like, ‘okay.’ As long as she stays like that I know she’s good.”
Along with money, Tennant says they are looking for any kind of support people can offer.
“It’s not just looking for funds; we’re looking for support emotionally. We’ve never had this kind of thing in our family before so we don’t have people to talk to about it.”