Sean's Cancer Journey
$11,911 raised
24% of $50k goal
127 contributors
5 Years running
Sean's family needs your help! Ever since Sean was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 3, his single mom has had financial hardship. Forced to use the foodbank, Tina, Sean and big sister Shannon frequently struggle and cannot afford basic ...
This is Tina and Sean's story.

For an entire week, my 3 year old son, Sean was very pale and lethargic with a fever that never went away. After 3 days of antibiotics did not improve his condition, we brought him to our GP in Vancouver for an assessment. She took one look at him, did not even want to examine him. She told us to take him to BC Childrens Hospital ER immediately.

When we arrived, the nurses looked at Sean, and started whispering amongst themselves. At the time there were at least 20 other children waiting in the Emergency Room. The nurses took Sean in right away, ahead oh everyone else.

Within minutes a doctor came to examine Seanny. He took his temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and ordered blood work. I thought Sean was going to get a stonger antibiotic, or maybe hooked up to fluid IV. Instead an hour later the same ER doctor came in back with a very long face, and quietly sat down beside me to explain that the results from the blood work came back with extremely high white blood cell count. They were 95% sure Seanny had Leukemia. That was on October 6th, 2011. 3 weeks after Sean turned 3.

I was obviously in horrible shock – begging the doctor, who now had to call in the Oncologist, to please not let my baby die. “If you need my blood, bone marrow, ect. Whatever it takes please don't let him die!!” I stood there holding my baby's hands sobbing. The oncologist on duty assured me, they wouldn't, and that they were going to go their best to treat him.

With those reassuring words, our lives as we knew it was going to change quite dramatically, as we literally went from the ER floor to 3B Oncology. I stayed in a cot besides Sean's bed for 8 and a half weeks while he had countless rounds of Chemo, countless blood transfusions. Sean also ended up with a feeding tube (which he still requires), and a “VAD” surgically implanted in his upper chest to administer the blood, test his blood, and medication without constant poking & breaking of the skin. After 2 weeks in the hospital, all of a sudden he started bleeding from the right side of his chest, the nurses & doctors were baffled as to what it could be until they decided to do a chest Xray and they discovered his “VAD” (port) had shifted out of the area it was implanted in. The doctor tried to reinsert it – no luck. It's a good thing the Doctors did the Xray, as Sean was minutes away from another round of his Chemo, and the nurse informed me that if they had given Sean the chemo while the VAD had shifted it would have travelled to his brain, with devastating results.

The next day Sean went into the OR to have another surgery to reinsert the VAD. What should have taken half an hour, took 2 and half hours. As the surgeons had to implant the VAD on his left side, as his ride side simply would no longer accommodate the VAD.

Our wonder oncologist, Dr. Rod Rassekh sat down with our family to explain that Sean's formal diagnosis was High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Early Cell B, A.L.L. As Sean is a boy, the treatment would take 3 years (for girls it's 2 years as the cancer cells might migrate in male testes.) Sean was diagnosed in High Risk because of his extremely elevated white blood cell count upon diagnosis and potentially he'll be at high risk to relapse.

In June 2011 I was locked out of my job (I loved) of 22 years. I could no longer afford to pay rent on our 3 bedroom house. We got evicted in September, and in October Sean my youngest got diagnosed with Cancer, no job, no home. And a horrible battle with the big 'C'! Could life get any worse? At this point I didn't care as long as my baby lives.

Seanny should have been in the hospital for 3-4 weeks initially. Unfortunately he developed many infections along the way, a fungal infection all over his body, blood infections, and he had a bad reaction to one of the Chemo's, resulting in horrible pains in the nerves in his legs.

Sean is also using medicated bum cream at $20.00/pill sized bottle. He goes through 4-6 per week, daily laxatives and stool softeners, which are not covered by Pharmacare. As a result of the Chemo he will require those things for the next 2 years.

Many times since Sean was diagnosed, he has been admitted for infections, and has stayed 2-3 weeks at a time.

As I still cannot work because of the unpredictability of Sean's Leukemia and his father(who is not living with us) is on disability. It is beyond impossible to support our family.

I never in a million years thought our family, especially Sean, would end up like this. I go to bed every night sick with worry how I will be able to afford to properly feed and clothe my children on a welfare cheque that barely covers the cost of bum cream, let alone groceries.

On behalf of our family, we would like to thank you for any size financial donation. We now understand that once your precious child receives a Cancer diagnosis, the family (unless one parent has a successful job), goes through huge not only emotional, but financial devastation the whole time. It would be incredible if enough money could be raised so we were no longer in this highly stressful predicament. No families dealing with cancer should ever be!

Much love,
Tina, Sean and big sister Shannon
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