In November 2018, doctors diagnosed 11-year-old Evie Hooper with Olfactory Neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that grows in the sinus areas.
When Evie was only three weeks old, she was diagnosed with Bilateral Retinoblastoma, also known as cancer of the eyes, and lost her right eye. By the age of seven, doctors declared her a survivor.
In August 2018, she began feeling sick with what appeared to be a sinus infection but by November 2018, doctors confirmed that the cancer had returned in the form of Olfactory Neuroblastoma, a cancer that rarely affects children. This is a rare cancer that primarily affects adults. In adults, the survival rate when the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes is 20 percent. Evie's family are now preparing to go to Jacksonville, Florida, for a special treatment that is not currently available in Canada.
"They will be sending her to Florida for something called 'Proton Radiation Therapy' which we don't have here in Canada," explains Evie's mother Veronica. "What we're doing is we will be spending time together as a family... if she and I need to be down there for two months, that's two months too long to be apart from each other. We don't know how long we have so we want to stay together."
Since her diagnosis in November, Evie has been treated with Chemotherapy which seems to be helping her condition. Doctors will try to remove the mass behind her left eye that has been growing, as well as attempt to remove some of the lymph nodes that have been involved. They cannot remove all the lymph nodes in her neck because there is too much risk. This is where 'Proton Radiation Therapy' is the best option for Evie.
Evie's parents and her three siblings will be heading to Jacksonville together to support her. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Hoopers with the costs they will face while away in Florida.
"My husband and I will be both taking time off work," says Veronica. "We'll be there for a minimum of two months."
The Hoopers are seeking financial help with travel expenses, logding in Florida, cost of food and living at the US exchange rate, and any other incidental costs that may arise while away from home.
The family are very grateful for all the support they have already received. So far they've received $14,400 of their $25,000 goal.
"The outpouring of love and support for our family has been amazing. Airdronians have such big hearts and it's the city that is still the little town that could. We wanted to let Airdrie know because it's a village that we love dearly and if people feel that they want to help us, that would be an amazing gift that they could help us and our daughter and all of our kids."
You can find the GoFundMe page here.
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