02/04/2014 02:41 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 03:59 EST

Hannah Day Cancer News Leaves Family With Terrible Decision


For the B.C. family of four-year-old Hannah Day, life just went from difficult to impossible.

Just before Christmas, a campaign was mobilized to find a stem-cell donor for the Victoria girl who had already beaten back cancer once in her short life, and was now struck with leukemia. By January, Hannah was so weak, she had contracted H1N1 and C. Difficile.

At least the campaign for a donor was a success — in fact, more than one successful match was found, reports The Times Colonist.

Hope seemed possible once more for a family who admitted to CBC News that it had been a struggle to stay strong.

Then, as fast as that hope was raised, it was brutally taken away. Because of the huge amounts of radiation Hannah withstood to fight the first cancer, her body is unable to take more of the treatment needed to prepare her for a stem-cell transplant.

The news leaves Hannah's family with a terrible dilemma. On their fundraising "Hope For Hannah Day" Facebook page, Hannah's mother, Brooke Ervin, explains the impossible choice she faces: to turn to palliative care and make her daughter comfortable for the remainder of her life, potentially for up to two years; or to try a risky transplant procedure with a 40 per cent chance of death.

The haploidentical transplant, sometimes referrred to as a "Hail Mary," would require Ervin to be her daughter's donor, even though she is only a half-match. The risk, she explains, is that Hannah's organs could fail during the procedure, killing her.

It is a grim dilemma for the family, as Ervin's post on Facebook makes clear:

At this point they can only tell us we will have Hannah here with us for 30 days until a transplant happens. So our choices are:

Give her palliative care for 2 years then say our goodbyes, or do the transplant and take the risk Hannah could die next month.

What a horrible decision a parent should never have to make.

Hannah Day, Victoria Girl, Battles Cancer