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This article was published 24/12/2018 (1069 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Boxing Day, the Aarts family will pack up their car and make the drive from Neepawa to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
It’s a routine occurrence for the family, but not an enjoyable one, as Chantel and her husband Travis take their daughter Makayla to her monthly chemotherapy sessions.
"It’s been difficult," Chantel Aarts said. "It’s always hard to see your child suffer and not be able to help them in any way. We just put our faith in the doctors, and pray they know what they’re doing and that all of this will cure it."
Makayla was first diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma liver cancer in 2016, Aarts said. Six months later, she beat the cancer, but now it’s back again, this time in her lungs.
"It’s a nightmare, it always seems like it’s constantly one thing after another," she said.
This time around has also been harder because at four years of age, Makayla understands more of what is going on.
"She’s so smart so she knows what will hurt and what won’t," she said. "It’s very difficult because now you kind of have to restrain her and hold her down for stuff."
The side effects of the chemo she has had have also on have also been rough on her. After her first round in November, she ended up with a partial bowel obstruction that put her in the hospital for six days, her mom said. She has also developed seizures and hearing loss.
The family is hoping for a little extra help from the community to help pay for costs associated with their daughter’s cancer treatments.
They’re going back and forth to Winnipeg every three weeks for chemotherapy, and staying there for five days while the treatments take place.
Everything quickly adds up, she said.
"Your housing, your meals and the gas to constantly go back and forth to the city, none of that is covered, so that’s been difficult," she said. "If people could donate money that would be great, just to help with the expenses."
They’ll be going back and forth until at least June or July, she said.
There is an account set up in Makayla’s name in Carberry at Westoba Credit Union, and one in Neepawa at CIBC. Her brother also set up a GoFundMe page where people can make a donation, at https://www.gofundme.com/makayla039s-cancer-treatment.
Despite the rough start, her daughter keeps a positive outlook on life, she said.
"She loves to smile and laugh, and whenever she smiles she just brightens up the room and makes everyone want to smile," she said.
"She brings out the good in everyone."
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