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Faith's Goal

Faith asked a few times if she could walk from London to Sarnia to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer and raise money for Childcan. Finally, her parents agreed to allow her to complete this walk with her dad by her side.

Faith is growing up to be a vibrant young lady who is always looking for ways to help others, any way she can. She has volunteered with her family at Childcan events and thought it would be great to raise money for the organization that helped her and her family so much.

While speaking with her mom, she said “not everyone understands that cancer can happen to anyone, not just adults. At my age, my friends don’t really understand what I went through or what I will have to go through”.

Faith hopes this walk will make people aware that Kids Get Cancer TOO and raise money for Childcan so other families will not feel alone!

Faith and Dave completed their 3 day walk on September 9, 2014 from London to Sarnia. A big thank you to everyone that participated. We couldn’t have done it without you!

This year, they will be reversing the walk and leave from Sarnia on Sept. 15th and arrive in London on Sept. 17th.

 

Faith's 2017 Mission

FAITH'S FOOTSTEPS MISSION

Faith’s Footsteps is a small group of family and friends that come together to raise money for Childcan while bringing much needed awareness to Childhood Cancer.  This all started with a young girl's wish.

Faith is a survivor of childhood cancer and has volunteered with her family at Childcan events and thought it would be great to raise money for the organization that helped her and her family so much.  While speaking with her mom, she said “not everyone understands that cancer can happen to anyone, not just adults. When you’re young, your friends don’t understand what you went through or what I will have to go through” and more people should be aware.

Childcan, a charity that helped her family get through the most difficult time in their lives.  Childcan, the Childhood Cancer Research Association Inc., is a registered Canadian charity based in London, Ontario that provides responsive support services for children, and their families, diagnosed with cancer at Children's Hospital LHSC located in London. Childcan is a non-profit organization that raises funds to provide responsive and compassionate support services to families facing the journey through childhood cancer – from diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or bereavement.  

Over the past three years Faith’s Footsteps has raised over $71,000 through various fundraising events and donations.

Every year we look for new opportunities and events to bring more awareness for Childhood Cancer and raise funds for Childcan.  

We all wish for the cure but until that happens we will continue to support Childcan with our fundraising efforts. No family should have to take this journey on their own.

As Faith says……. Kids Get Cancer TOO!

 

Faith's Story: A Family's life Changed Forever

Faith was born a healthy baby in 2003.  It was a dream come true for her mom and dad.  She was happy, funny, energetic and just an all around great baby.

When Faith was 15 months old, she started to get fevers about once a week and her mom (Tracy) and dad (Dave) would get calls to pick her up from daycare.  The fevers would last a day and then she would be fine. Faith’s mom and dad took her to visit her doctor and were told she was ok and not to worry.

This continued for 3 months and finally enough was enough!  Her mom took her to the doctors once again and insisted she was not leaving until they told her what was wrong and causing the fevers.  The doctor once again looked Faith over, but this time found a lump on her belly and sent them off for an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed there was a mass the size of a grapefruit in her belly.

THE FAMILY’S LIVES CHANGED THAT DAY AND THEIR WAY OF LIVING WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME.

Faith went through her first biopsy surgery at 18 months and it was determined she had Hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer.  Faith started numerous rounds of chemotherapy to reduce the size of the mass so it would be operable. She underwent many MRI’s, CT scans and 4 surgeries. Her last surgery was October 17, 2005, just nine days after her second birthday, which resulted in the removal of 60% of her liver.  Faith had more rounds of chemotherapy after her surgery, which ended January 2006.

IN JANUARY 2006, FAITH’S FAMILY WAS TOLD SHE WAS CANCER FREE. MUSIC TO THEIR EARS! THE HOSPITAL STAFF EVEN HAD A SMALL CELEBRATION FOR FAITH THAT DAY.

Even though Faith has now been cancer free for 9 years, her life will constantly be filled with doctors appointments, blood work every year, hearing tests to measure hearing loss due to all her treatments, and possible MRI’s.

Her parents will always keep a close eye on her even though she is healthy and cancer free and there will always be more to contend with as she grows older. People are usually not aware of the long term affects cancer fighting drugs and chemotherapy have on children who receive treatments at such a young age. Faith would like to change that.

So, we celebrate everyday and are greatly appreciative to all the health care providers that supported Faith’s journey before, during and after her cancer treatments.

Even though Faith is now cancer free, her life will constantly be filled with follow up doctor’s appointments, blood work, hearing test to measure hearing loss due to her treatments and possible MRI’s.

Her parents will always keep a close eye on her even though she is healthy and cancer free today there will always be more to contend with as she grows older.  People are not usually aware of the long term effects cancer fighting drugs and chemotherapy have on children.  Faith would like to change that.

So we celebrate everyday and are greatly appreciative to all the health care providers and Childcan who supported Faith’s journey before, during and after cancer her treatments.

 

About Faith's Cancer: Hepatoblastoma

Hepatoblastoma is a form of liver cancer that usually occurs in infants. In contrast to hepatocellular carcinoma, it arises in an otherwise normal liver.

Hepatoblastoma is a form of liver cancer that usually occurs in infants. In contrast to hepatocellular carcinoma, it arises in an otherwise normal liver.

Incidence

  • Liver tumors account for 0.5-2 percent of pediatric tumors and are the tenth most frequent tumors in children.
  • Hepatoblastoma has an incidence of 0.9 per 1 million children.
  • The median age of diagnosis is 1 year; most patients are diagnosed by 2 years of age.

Influencing Factors

  • In contrast to hepatocellular carcinoma, prior hepatitis infection is not associated with an increased risk of hepatoblastoma.
  • Children of families whose members carry a gene related to a certain kind of colon cancer (Familial colonic polyposis) and those with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome or hemi-hypertrophy may be more likely to develop hepatoblastoma.

Clinical Features and Symptoms

The cancer typically appears as an asymptomatic abdominal mass found on a routine physical examination or discovered incidentally by the parents. Other nonspecific features include weight loss, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, anemia, fever, vomiting and jaundice.

Survival Rates

  • Cure of hepatoblastoma is possible when the tumor can be completely removed by surgery. However, this is possible for only about half of the patients at the time of initial diagnosis.
  • Unlike hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoblastoma is usually sensitive to chemotherapy and with treatment the tumor will shrink enough to allow total resection.
  • Children whose tumor has spread outside the liver rarely survive long-term.

Treatment Strategies

  • Until effective chemotherapy became available, complete surgical resection was the only successful treatment option. However, the procedure carried significant risks because these tumors typically form an excessive number of blood vessels – making them difficult to remove. Tumors that couldn’t be removed progressed. This situation changed in the early 1980s when several studies, including one at St. Jude, produced cure rates of 70 percent by adding chemotherapy for initially unresectable tumors, followed by total resection after the tumor shrank sufficiently. This combined approach is now the standard of practice in the United States.
  • In tumors that involve the whole liver, liver transplantation from a donor is sometimes an option.

Current Research

Studies at St. Jude have suggested that irinotecan may be an effective agent in some children with hepatoblastoma. This drug will be tested further in a new Children’s Oncology Study that is being planned.

This is from St. Jude’s website!!