News

Lovingly remembered…Greta Paige Marofke

MAROFKE, Greta Paige
October 1, 2013 – Calgary, Alberta
September 20, 2017 – Calgary, Alberta

Our world is saddened by the passing of precious Greta Marofke. Greta lived a full and glorious life from the moment of her birth October 1, 2013 until the moment she left us September 20, 2017 while snuggled in the arms of her Mama and Daddy.
Greta loved dancing, story telling, princesses and spending time with her family.

Greta’s passing leaves an enormous void in the lives of her parents, Steve and Lindsey Marofke, brother Ben Marofke, grandparents Don and Sandy VanTetering and Manfred and Linda Marofke, and great grandmothers Viola VanTetering, Margaret Houston and Natalie Marofke. In addition, Greta has been well and truly loved by many uncles, aunts, cousins, extended family and friends.

The story of her two year struggle with liver cancer brought together people from all over the world in a united effort to find an effective treatment. Along the way Greta won the hearts of many, including medical personnel, the media, and all who were touched by her sparks of joy.

A Celebration of Greta’s Life was held Sunday, October 1, 2017. This celebration coincides with Greta’s birthday and in honour of the joy Greta shared with all, Greta’s family dressed in colourful shirts, ties, dresses and tiaras. Guests were encouraged to do the same.

Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in Greta Marofke’s honour directly to:

  • The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2888 Shaganappi Trail N.W., Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Telephone: (403) 955-8818.
  • Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, Suite 302, 609 – 14th Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 2A1, www.kidscancercare.ab.ca.
  • Addie’s Hepatoblastoma Research – addiesresearch.org (this is a US charity and Canadians will not receive tax receipts.)

Media Coverage of Greta’s day at camp

Thank you to all the Calgary media who continue to share Greta’s story.

CTV News Calgary – Greta seizes chance to smile at summer camp as medical concerns mount post-transplant…full story

Calgary Herald – Three-year-old Greta gets a break thanks to kids cancer day camp…full story

Calgary Sun – Greta goes to summer camp…full story

Global Calgary – Young Alberta cancer patient attends special summer camp as doctors plan next step…full story

Metro Calgary – Calgary day camp gives Greta Marofke the chance to forget about cancer…full story

Greta gets a break at Cancer Camp

Calgary, AB. – On Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10 am, three-year-old Greta Marofke is finally able to get a break from cancer at SunRise – a Kids Cancer Care day camp in the city for children ages three to seven.

The camp is held at the Killarney-Glengarry Community Centre. After almost two years of cancer treatments, numerous surgeries and a liver transplant, Greta is finally back at home in Calgary and healthy enough to go to summer camp.

“We’re celebrating!” said Greta’s mother Lindsey Marofke. “Greta is home and feeling so much better with her new liver. She’s excited to go to camp. She sees her brother doing things and going places and she wants to go, but she can’t because it’s always a risk every time we take her outside. SunRise is the safest thing we can do for her right now and we’re really excited about it. We want Greta to have a chance to be a regular child, to have some fun and happiness, to have some semblance of life other than cancer.”

Greta has been on a long difficult journey. She was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer in September 2015. After six months of chemotherapy and a liver resection that removed 70 per cent of her liver, Greta seemed to be thriving. But the cancer returned in August 2016 and Greta’s family learned that her only hope was a liver transplant, a procedure that is not available in Canada. Greta’s liver transplant cost the family $600,000 (US), so the Marofke family set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray some of the costs. To date, they have raised $312,000 of their $500,000 goal.

Although the liver transplant was successful and Greta has not experienced any rejection issues so far, her future remains uncertain. The cancer has now appeared in Greta’s lungs and her parents continue to explore further treatment options with her doctors.

At camp, Greta and her friends will be participating in a range of activities, including field games, music therapy, creating Superhero Modge Podge Picture Frames, receiving Superhero Awards and Hero Wands and taking part in a cooking class with Poppy Innovations. All Kids Cancer Care programs are specially designed to be safe and hygienic for children with compromised immune systems. SunRise staff is taking every precaution to ensure it is safe and hygienic for Greta, whose immune system is doubly compromised due to the chemotherapy and antirejection medication she is taking post-transplant.

“This is why we exist,” said Christine McIver, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kids Cancer Care. “We’re here to give children like Greta a chance to be kids. It may only be one week, but for some kids, it could be their last week. We’re so happy Greta is feeling well enough to attend SunRise and grateful that her parents have trusted us enough to take care of her.”
MEDIA LIAISON
Gail Corbett, Manager of Marketing and Communications
Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta
C 403 607 5565  corbett@kidscancercare.ab.ca
ABOUT KIDS CANCER CARE
Every year in Alberta, over 160 children are diagnosed with cancer and face months, often years, of cancer treatments followed by a life-time of cancer-related health problems. With a vision to provide a cure for every child and care for every family, Kids Cancer Care’s ultimate goal is to end childhood cancer, while easing the pain and suffering of the disease today, through three essential program areas: 1. Research and Hospital; 2. Education Support and Scholarships; and 3. Camp and Outreach.
http://www.kidscancercare.ab.ca

Calgary Herald Article – May 29, 2017

Young Calgary cancer patient feeling ‘really good’ after liver transplant in U.S.

Alanna Smith
Published on: May 29, 2017 | Last Updated: May 29, 2017 6:38 PM MDT

After capturing the hearts of thousands earlier this year, many Calgarians will be happy to hear three-year-old Greta has received a liver transplant and is recovering well.

This liver could mean a new lease on life for the young Calgarian who is fighting a rare liver cancer, which affects less than one in a million children…

Read the full article here

Transplant complete!

Greta has received her new liver!

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, as the Marofke family was travelling to Cincinatti (literally going through customs at the Calgary airport), they got the call that a liver was available for Greta. So immediately upon arrival they went straight to the hospital to begin the process for Greta to get her transplant.

The surgery was complicated and long but Greta came through. She is stable but the recovery process is difficult. She will continue to be monitored closely until she is ready to come home.

THANK YOU YYC, and everyone who has sent donations, prayers, messages of love. You may not think it makes a big difference but Steve, Lindsey, Ben and Greta feel surrounded by love and good wishes. Keep them coming! It means so much.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family who lost their baby, but decided to give another child a chance at life. Words cannot express how much that act of courage and generosity means to Greta’s family.

We will keep you updated as best we can.

xoxo

#GuitarsforGreta Benefit Concert

On Saturday April 29th, local musicians have opened their hearts and will come together to play a one-day music festival. 30 bands, 3 stages, 10 hours all in support of 1 little girl named Greta.

The only goal: Raise $100,000.00 to help pay for a life saving operation, treatment, and post-operative care for 3 year old Greta who is battling cancer.

A local music venue and sports bar, and their adjacent parking lot will be fenced, staged and will host this amazing fundraising event. Tickets may be purchased ALL AGES for $20.00 GENERAL ADMISSION or $50.00 ALL ACCESS which includes admittance to artists tent and the After Party in The Cave with a Mystery Band.

We are absolutely blown away to be in the position to announce the talent that will play on:

Final poster

Purchase tickets

Lindsey was on CityTV this morning talking about Greta and the event. Here is the link:

Watch: CityTV news piece on Greta

It takes very special Sponsors to make this event a reality. We wish to thank: Axe Music, Urban Audio, Beatroute, Coca Cola, Monster Energy, Village Brewery, Bacardi, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bombay-Sapphire, Brian’s Porta Potty & Fencing, Print Three Calgary, Getto Boys Bar & Grill, The Cave Stage and MOST of all 30 generous local bands, DJ’s, and volunteers.

If you missed it this morning, we were on AMP Radio talking about Greta’s situation. Here are the audio clips of the interviews.

 

Update from Cincinnati

March 2, 2017

It has been a busy couple of days for us here in Cincinnati with things changing quickly. We met with a team of doctors and health care professionals and had a very long discussion about Greta’s situation. It is not a straight forward, easy case with Greta. Her tumor has changed and is getting more aggressive.

We went through many different scenarios with the team here on what might happen. The transplant review board had an initial meeting today to discuss Greta. Not unexpectedly, she was not approved for a transplant today. The good news is the door is still open, but ultimately, we could still be facing a rejection for transplant here as well. The other good news is the oncologist thinks he can help us overcome this. The team believes if we demonstrate that we can at least get her tumor somewhat under control, we will have a better chance of being approved for the transplant.

We are going to do a couple of things with Greta to try to make this transplant happen. The first thing we are going to do is to give her more chemotherapy. This is going to be happening tomorrow morning. The oncologist here has some ideas on what different chemos he can try to get control of her tumor.

The second thing we have been discussing is a procedure called TARE or trans arterial radio embolization.This will also hopefully stop or slow down the tumor in her liver and help to prevent the tumor from spreading to any other part of her body.

Once we have done these things, some time may need to pass to be able to demonstrate that the cancer has not already spread. Right now we are being told 1-2 months.
We believe we are doing what is best for Greta and giving her the chance she deserves. The team here in Cincinnati seems willing to push the envelope a bit further than other institutions. However, at the end of the day, we are still not guaranteed to get the liver transplant we need to save Greta, but we have to try and that is why we are here.

The support we have received so far has been astounding and humbling and more than I ever could have imagined. Steve and I are both born and raised Calgarians and the support from the community, the country and even further beyond has been so uplifting during these stressful days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!