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Family seeking support after daughter’s rare cancer diagnosis

The family of a young girl from Grande Prairie is asking for support as she battles a rare form of cancer.

Just before Christmas, Isla Clandinin was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue.

Isla’s family is collecting donations to help with the medical costs of her 12-month treatment program, which includes chemotherapy in Edmonton and radiation therapy in Florida. Kendal Hanson, a friend of the Clandinin family, says that the family took her to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton after she experienced some swelling in her neck before Christmas.

“At Stollery Children’s Hospital, they diagnosed her with what they thought was cancer at the time, but they weren’t sure. They did some biopsies and she was able to come home for Christmas, but she experienced more swelling in the new year, so she ended up getting picked up via medevac to Edmonton.”

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Isla ended up having open-heart surgery last week where they were able to remove most of the tumor but there’s another tumor at the base of her skull. She was then diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma. She started chemotherapy in Edmonton on Monday.

“Isla is seven years old and she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. She’s got a younger brother Cael, who she says is her best friend. Her mom is a nurse and she’s been a nurse for the last 14 years in Grande Prairie and her dad is a firefighter, who has been firefighting with the city for more than 20 years,” she says.

The family isn’t sure when they would be heading down to Florida for radiation therapy, but it will be sometime in the next few months. Both of her parents are in Edmonton with her and haven’t been able to work. There is a set goal of $30,000 for the fundraiser and 131 donations have been made so far.

For more information, or if you would like to donate, visit the gofundme page.

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