Eliza is a young girl to who attracts attention and affection. She is animated, has an infectious giggle and an abundance of spunk. Her favourite activity is to dress up as a princess or superhero or anything in between. While hospitalized, she wouldn’t step foot out of her room without wearing something to impress.
Eliza is also known for her abundant empathy. She lives with her parents, Mary and Chris and big brother Jackson in a country house in a farming community and loves the outdoors. She alternates between wanting her own horse and wanting her own dirt bike like her big brother.
For several weeks between June and July in 2016, Eliza was fatigued, intermittently ran a slight fever and was very pale. Eliza’s mother and grandmother conjectured that perhaps she had some sort of deficiency and booked a doctor’s appointment. The doctor listened to all of the symptoms and ordered blood tests.
At 8:00 PM that evening the family doctor called to say that Eliza's blood work came back, and her white blood cell count was high and her hemoglobin was low. Mary didn't know what any of this meant, so the doctor explained that this could be caused by a virus or it could be something much more serious.
He told her to drive to the local hospital immediately and that the paediatrician on call was waiting for them.
More tests were done at the local hospital and by 1:00 AM they were in an ambulance on their way to The Hospital for Sick Children.
By 5:00 AM she was officially diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (High Risk B cell).
Within an hour of being diagnosed, Eliza was taken to her hospital floor, launching straight into a two-to-three year treatment program. The nurses, fellows, entire team, paused and welcomed Eliza, either with a smile or a big friendly hello.
“We were deeply touched at that moment, the moment we felt firsthand the compassion and passion that goes into making our children well again. It was a moment I knew we would be ok and this new journey was about to show us how much good in the world there really is,” recalls Mary.