Every three months for the past two years, my family and I walk to the same precipice and look down. This is what it is like to wait for the results of an MRI when your child has a brain tumour.
This past July was the second anniversary of my daughter Alina's diagnosis. In that time, Alina has had nine MRIs, 60 weeks of chemotherapy and two surgeries. She also became blind as a result of the tumour. So when we look down from the edge, we are afraid of what we have to go back to because we have already lived through it once.
Cancer has already taken so much from our daughter that with every MRI we again have to face the uncertainty of whether or not we will get to pull back from the edge and move on with our lives -- or get shoved right back into the void. There is an extreme sense of elation, relief and joy when we get the good news that the tumour is stable and we can move on again.
Alina's latest MRI in August showed that the tumour remains stable. We get to step back from the edge of the cliff again. We have been very fortunate that treatment has worked so well for our daughter so far, but there is no guarantee the tumour will remain dormant, so we must continue having MRIs every few months.
This is why it is so vital to raise money to support cancer research and better cancer treatments, not just for our daughter but for all of our children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, partners -- all of the people we love and care about.
Compared to what my daughter has gone through, riding a couple hundred kilometres will be an easy task
Funding for research to improve treatments helped save my daughter's life, which is why the Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation is so important to me. I know that the money raised through this event helps improve the lives of people fighting cancer.
I am excited to be able to get on my bike and do something to help my daughter in her fight. Compared to what my daughter has gone through, riding a couple hundred kilometres will be an easy task. To prepare for the ride, I joined a boxing club, Beyond Boxing, to help improve my fitness in a fun way. Spending a couple hours a week at that club has been enjoyable and I have noticed significant improvement in my conditioning and core strength. A nice bonus is that the people at the club are so supportive of my goal and have helped raise money for the ride as well.
I have also been riding my bike and enjoying the natural beauty of British Columbia. Scenic rides up mountains and along the water make me think of places I want to take my daughter one day. She may not be able to enjoy the scenery with her eyes but she does appreciate going to new places. She enjoys touching different trees and plants, hearing the various sounds at the beach and in a forest -- basically feeling what it is like to be in these places. Alina being healthy and able to experience these things is what motivates me.
When I am riding up Burnaby Mountain or along the Fraser River, these are the things I think about, that these are the things I want for my daughter -- to be healthy and able to enjoy life like anyone else. I cannot think of better motivation when trying to accomplish something in tribute to her.
I am so proud of my daughter because at such a young age she has already gone toe to toe with a brain tumour and survived. The tumour blinded her and almost killed her, but thanks to BC Children's Hospital, she is alive and thriving today.
To honour her, I will participate in the Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation on August 27-28 to raise money for breakthrough research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency, not only for her but for everyone else fighting.
This is our fight. Join me by visiting conquercancer.ca.
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