Thanks to donors, Drea’s future is bright.
Three years ago, we introduced you to Drea and the story of her family’s challenging experiences after she was diagnosed with brain cancer at only five-years-old. At the time donors generously responded, providing them with hope in an uncertain time.
Although CancerCare Manitoba surgeons were successful in removing Drea’s entire tumour, this wasn’t the end of her journey. Drea had a long, grueling treatment regime including high-dosage chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. The stress on her young body from these treatments was intense and eventually the decision was made to stop the maintenance chemotherapy.
Donor generosity helps enable local research to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs while also limiting the negative side effects.
When we first introduced Drea’s parents, Mandy and Mike, they were cautiously living moment to moment, day by day. It was hard to think ahead when their youngest daughter’s future was so uncertain.
“Drea’s illness rocked me to my core. I was in shock. I worried terribly about what the future would hold for her. If you asked me about the long-term, about university or her getting married, I couldn’t tell you,” said Mike.
Fortunately, donors were by their sides.Generous support from people like you funds research and clinical trials that have given Drea’s family more hope for the future, not just for their family, but for others going through a similar journey.
“We’re not living minute to minute anymore. Every time we visit the doctor, we feel more optimistic. There is more hope than before, and every day is different,” said Mandy.
Drea goes for an MRI every six months to ensure that her cancer hasn’t returned. It’s an anxious and scary time for her given her memories of when she was in treatment. Drea’s family is extremely grateful for CancerCare Manitoba’s family-focused approach to patient care. Drea’s siblings, Nicolas and Adriana, were given a tour of the building where treatments were carefully explained which helped ensure the entire family felt connected as they supported Drea.
Drea’s life has changed dramatically in the last few years.
Thanks to the support of donors who are ensuring the best possible care is available, Drea is thriving and living life to the fullest.
Now ten-years-old, she loves to paint her nails, make videos and play sports. She is now in Grade 5 and has been able to regularly attend school for the last two years, something that wasn’t possible when she was in treatment.
This fall Drea began playing hockey again, something she had started right before she was diagnosed with cancer.
“It has taken her a while to build her confidence again and get to the point where she believes her body can do this type of physical activity.” said Mandy. “We’re all really happy she’s making progress.”
Drea and her family are so grateful for donor support and the hope it provides.
“The nurses and staff at CCMB are amazing,” said Mandy. “So nice, so good to her, so helpful, so understanding. It didn’t matter what we needed, someone was there to help. I now have more hope for other parents who are dealing with a child with brain cancer. With caring donors and CancerCare Manitoba at your side the future is full of hope.”
Generous support from people like you funds research and clinical trials that have given Drea’s family more hope for the future, not just for their family, but for others going through a similar journey.