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Flight #247

Family Support For Child With Leukemia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Flights of Compassion Required: 1

Travel Loyalty Points Required: 15,000

Points Raised: 15,000

Points to go: 0

I will be traveling to Philadelphia with my sister-in-law and her daughter Alana, my niece. I have known Alana since her birth. My sister-in law is a single mother who works hard and raises her two daughters on her own. Alana was born with Down Syndrome and was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 7. She completed her three year chemotherapy treatment plan and then had a relapse of her leukemia in April 2017. Alana and her mother now need to travel to Philadelphia for treatment of her relapsed Leukemia, CAR-T Cells, which is not available in Canada as yet. This treatment gives Alana the best chances for survival from relapsed leukemia.

I have been a helpful care provider for Alana since she was born, helping her mother as she needs. I have developed a close relationship with Alana and am a trusted adult in her life. Alana is non-verbal and at times it can be hard to know what Alana’s needs are, but because I know her so well, I know when she is happy or sad, I know what she likes and dislikes, and I am able to comfort and calm her when she is upset.

Traveling to Philadelphia for this treatment will be an overwhelming time for Alana and her mother. Alana needs hand on care at all times, she cannot feed or dress herself independently, she needs assistance with all aspects of her daily care. If I am able to accompany my sister-in-law as an additional care provider for Alana it will ease the stress and burden that six weeks in a different city for life saving treatment will surely bring. I will also be a great emotional support to my sister-in-law who would otherwise be on her own, caring for her very sick child, in a city far away from home and all of her usual supports.