Greta was a happy, healthy energetic baby. Then she started having some vague symptoms, unexplained fever, a little nausea, less stamina. After various tests Greta went for an ultrasound and that’s when our world was forever changed. The scans showed Greta had a mass on her liver.
In September 2015, days before she turned 2 years old, Greta was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma – an extremely rare liver cancer found in fewer than 1 in a million children.
Greta started her first chemo treatment on her 2nd birthday. She tolerated her treatment extremely well! Though she lost her hair and had to be isolated because of low immunity, Greta remained a happy, exuberant child.
At the end of March 2016 – after 2 major surgeries, 10 chemotherapy sessions and endless pokes and procedures, she was done her treatment and had “no evidence of disease”. The Oncologists said recurrence was unlikely. We were overjoyed! We enjoyed the summer with Greta and her big brother Ben. Spending lots of time at the lake and watching her change from a baby to a little girl.
Then, on a routine follow up doctor visit, we had disturbing results from a blood test – it looked like the cancer was back. More tests and scans revealed that it was. The good news was that it had not metastasized. We started chemo all over again almost exactly a year after the first round and were told she would need a liver transplant.
We have been working extensively with doctors in Calgary, Toronto and Cincinnati on how best to take care of Greta’s relapsed hepatoblastoma (liver cancer). Our Canadian doctors have done everything they can to help but, in this case, our system is far behind many of the large centers in the world.
Dr. Geller, a paediatric oncologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, has a special interest in hepatoblastoma and much more experience than any Canadian doctors.
He has spoken with us at length about Greta’s situation and has offered to help in any way he can. With being denied a transplant in Canada, he is our only chance to get Greta a healthy liver. He has been working closely with our Canadian doctors but is convinced he can do more to help Greta than is possible here. In his practice he has been personally involved in 9 rescue liver transplants (transplant after resection) and 8 of these children are doing well! Dr. Geller believes Greta has and deserves a shot at life.
But it is expensive!
We are travelling to Cincinnati right away to start the evaluation process for a possible liver transplant and a procedure called T.A.R.E which will help to hopefully stabilize her tumour and prevent it from spreading beyond her liver but we need approximately $150K US for the procedure. However, there is a chance they would be able to transplant right away. This would require A LOT more money.
We asked for the cost of this treatment and were told that for initial evaluation, transplant surgery and follow up care and chemo until she can return home it would be USD $1.2M. Above this would be travel and living expenses for us, Greta’s parents, while she is in Cincinnati. At this point, AB Health Care will not be covering the cost of Greta’s transplant surgery.
We need help! And we need it right away. Greta’s life depends on it. So much of the journey through childhood cancer is lonely and isolating, but our friends and family have rallied around to support us as best they can. And we need you now more than ever.
Every single dollar will help give Greta a chance at life, a chance she deserves.
If any funds collected are unused for Greta’s care we will donate them to a Children’s cancer care/research charity. Words cannot express how grateful we are for all the support and donations. Thank you!
Love Steve, Lindsey, Ben and Greta xoxo
For media inquiries please call Katie Findlay – 403-969-9396