You’re helping us survive isolation again

I’ve pulled out all the old tricks — balloon basketball, baking muffins and banana bread, basement fort-building, glow-stick baths, board games, crafts, our own little dance parties and walking in the fresh air every day.

Aria and I spent months at home with very few visitors, when she was on treatment for stage 3 hepatoblastoma — a rare liver cancer. She was 14 months old and, as a single parent working full-time, I was blessed to be able to take a leave of absence from teaching. 

Aria endured countless blood transfusions, months of chemotherapy and an eight-hour surgery to remove the tumour and 70 per cent of her liver. 

The treatments weakened her immune system, so I got into a daily routine of disinfecting our entire home, while listening to our favourite music. 

Our only outings were scheduled admissions for chemotherapy and appointments at the hospital. We passed the time doing crafts, going for drives and walks. 

Thank goodness Kids Cancer Care was there for us. I loved their weekly Pizza Nights at the hospital. It was so comforting to meet parents whose children had made it safely to the other side of cancer. Aria was beyond excited to attend their SunRise day camp. She still talks about how she rode on the school bus to go camping — at Camp Kindle. 

Fast forward to the COVID-19 crisis and the feeling is all too familiar. Aria’s immune system is still fragile. She is currently fighting an atypical presentation of mono — a rare case where the mono attacks the liver. 

We’re on protective isolation. The doctor fears her liver couldn’t take it, if she were to become infected by COVID-19.  

I’ve pulled out all the old tricks — balloon basketball, baking muffins and banana bread, basement fort-building, glow-stick baths, board games, crafts, our own little dance parties and walking in the fresh air every day. 

We are fortunate to have Kids Cancer Care in our corner again. They are supporting families in isolation by moving programs online. These days, Aria and I are enjoying their online exercise classes for tots via Facebook Live. 

After her first online class, Aria said, “Playing jump-over-the-snake and rescue-the-teddies game was so fun. It made me tired!” 

She truly loved it and especially loved how Carolina mentioned her name in class. It brought a big smile to her face.

It’s amazing to feel a part of a community, even in this time of isolation. Thank you!


~ Aria’s Mom, Stephanie Boettcher

Thank you for being there for Aria during her isolation.


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