Four years ago Tenley’s family generously shared their story with you, our incredible donors. Only five at the time, she had a maturity beyond her years. The second oldest of four young daughters, Tenley’s calm demeanor defied her health situation. She was very sick, and your support helped her get through it.
In January 2016 the floor fell out from beneath Tenley’s family when she was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. In her mom Jaime’s words, “You can’t imagine what it would be like until you experience it. Just hearing the word ‘leukemia’ and your child’s name attached to it, your world crashes. Nothing is a ‘sure thing’ anymore.”
Tenley would undergo over two years of gruelling treatment which caused harsh reactions to chemotherapy, multiple lengthy hospital stays and issues with her eyesight. Her first three months off treatment in mid-2018 were terrible. It was only after some time her immune system kicked in, and her energy began to return.
Through it all, Tenley’s family was keenly aware of the difference your support made for their precious daughter. They learned it is your generous gifts which fund clinical trials in Manitoba. Clinical trials which result in progress and improve outcomes for people like Tenley living with cancer. They realized this and so did their wise-beyond-her-years child.
“The day after she was diagnosed, we were asked if we would agree to enroll Tenley in a trial. If oncologists could learn anything from what she went through, why wouldn’t we take that opportunity?” said Jaime in 2016. “As Tenley put it, ‘how can we fix it mom if we don’t know what causes leukemia?’ We need donor funds so we can figure that out and answer a five-year-old’s question … which is a pretty big question.”
Tenley is nearing her birthday, turning ten in November. She has come so far, and her family is very grateful to you for her recovery. It’s hard to believe this vibrant young girl who started kindergarten healthy five years ago couldn’t safely return until grade three. She lost out on so many “firsts” no child should have to miss. She is making up for it now though, enjoying arts and crafts, food, being the “fashionista” amongst her sisters and spending quality time with her tight-knit farming family from Gretna. Despite the tremendous hardship her cancer was, thanks to you, she’s come out of it with something very special.
“She has enormous compassion and empathy,” commented Jaime. “Going through a traumatic experience like she did at such a young age has made her more attuned to others.”
Just as her journey shaped Tenley, their family’s experience shaped them as parents. They remain so thankful to you for your kindness and generosity. They appreciate your support helped them through the hardest time in their lives.
“We are so grateful you would invest in children who need it even if they are unknown to you. That’s a pretty special thing,” says Jaime.