Our names are Shelly & Suresh and on behalf of our daughter Hargun, we’d like to thank you for making the time to read her story. She is just seven years old and has acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
We never imagined this would happen to our little girl. Hargun loved to dance, goof around, and play with her cousins before she became sick.
A little over a year ago our family’s life was turned upside down after we received this shocking diagnosis no parent is ever prepared to hear.
Before Hargun’s diagnosis, none of us understood just how important support from people like you has been in ensuring the best help was available when she needed it.
Hargun hopes her story inspires you.
Towards the end of last summer Hargun began feeling unwell. We spent the next couple of months back and forth at the doctor’s trying to figure out what was wrong.
One frightful evening she developed a blood clot in her eye, the whites of her eye unnaturally stained with red. It was terrifying for all of us to see and led us straight to the hospital.
After her blood tests, while we were still driving home from the hospital, the doctor called and told us we needed to come back right away – it was serious.
The unthinkable became our world: ‘your daughter has cancer’.
Hargun understands everything. When Dr. Chopek met us in the ER and explained she had a form of blood cancer we were in shock. That night holding onto us, Hargun asked if she would die. We had no answers for her.
Hargun began treatment immediately.
We’ve learned clinical trials can give patients like Hargun access to the newest possible treatments. And we’ve learned how donors like you help bring clinical trials to Manitoba. Your gift just may enable new clinical trials and research that help Hargun on her cancer journey in the years to come.
After ten days of chemotherapy we were about to leave the hospital when doctors found Hargun had a fever. Things escalated quickly and within 24 hours she had become severely ill with sepsis.
Hargun needed immediate, life-saving care.
She was moved into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and put on a ventilator the next day.
Hargun spent the next five weeks in the ICU.
These were the scariest days of our lives.
At the time the doctors couldn’t tell us how long Hargun would be on the ventilator. A week, two months, six months? No one knew what lay ahead.
The first three weeks were the hardest, and then finally she started to slowly improve. We will never forget seeing Hargun open her beautiful, bright eyes for the first time in weeks. Still, we knew her journey with cancer was far from over.
By the end of January Hargun was strong enough to continue her treatment from home. We hadn’t left the hospital with her since that awful night in November when she was first diagnosed and admitted.
After weeks of being unconscious Hargun was extremely weak. She needed help with simple tasks like sitting up, standing and walking. She sometimes doesn’t feel well, but Hargun is thankful to be alive. Just ask her, she will say “Mom, I’m thankful for living.”
Today, Hargun takes daily chemotherapy medication and has monthly visits to the hospital for intravenous medication and spinal taps. She is still working on slowly gaining her strength back.
Why does research make a difference?
The big question for Hargun has always been, “Why did I get sick?” That’s what she’s always wanted to know. She asks us all of the time. “Why?” And she really does want to know why. She has agreed to share her story because she wants to help answer the question. Your support of local research may one day answer Hargun’s question that is today unanswerable.
Through continued research more Manitobans like Hargun can be saved in the future.
Cancer changes your perspective on everything. It’s hard to imagine things ever going back to normal. It can be hard to be brave, but she inspires us to be to be strong for her.
Today we are asking you to join us in our fight against cancer. In our fight for Hargun’s life. And to help others like her. We hope you will consider making a donation this holiday season.
With sincere gratitude,
Shelly & Suresh