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HFC: Breakthrough treatments are happening here in Manitoba

Your donations to the Winnipeg Jets' Hockey Fights Cancer campaign support pediatric clinical trials being available to Brenna and other Manitoba kids with cancer

by CancerCare Manitoba Foundation Communications /

When over 15,000 fans chant "Go Jets Go!" at Bell MTS Place, the sound is absolutely thunderous. Cheering from her living room, one passionate young fan makes sure to add her voice to this well-known chant every chance she gets.

Brenna, three, is a huge Winnipeg Jets fan. She may be small, but pound-for-pound she has to be one of the biggest Jets fans around. She is also an incredibly courageous and strong girl.  

In July 2016, Brenna was diagnosed with medulloblastoma. It's a form of cancerous tumour that starts in the brain near the base of the skull and tends to spread to the spinal cord.

Brenna spent the entire last half of 2016 in the hospital undergoing treatment for her cancer. She had a surgical biopsy of her tumour and doctors surgically placed a shunt to relieve pressure on her brain. She also received six rounds of high dose chemotherapy. Since January, Brenna has been coming to CancerCare Manitoba as an outpatient every three weeks for treatments and watchful monitoring.

Your donations to the Winnipeg Jets' Hockey Fights Cancer campaign support pediatric clinical trials being available to Brenna and other Manitoba kids with cancer. Brenna's diagnosis hasn't quelled her enthusiasm for her favourite team. With her siblings Caleb, 5, and Kiera, 7, by her side, they are making sure each "Go Jets Go" chant is louder than the one before!

At six years old, Dustin is the youngest of six siblings from a close knit family. He's very tight with his brothers Russell, 8, and Mike, 11. He's usually very energetic and playful so when he started feeling really tired and had lots of bruising this past summer, his family took notice.

Dustin and his family live in Nunavut, a community of about 1000 people in northern Canada. After falling very ill in September, he had to be medivacced to Winnipeg. To his parents' shock Dustin was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). APL is a very rare cancer in children and Dustin is probably the first case treated by CancerCare Manitoba's pediatric team in over 10 years.

Dustin is participating in a pediatric clinical trial which includes arsenic chemotherapy administered intravenously. This clinical trial is available to Dustin thanks in large part to the amazing generosity of you, Winnipeg Jets fans. Your support is enabling Dustin to get access to the best possible treatment right here in Manitoba.

Dustin's outpatient treatment at CancerCare Manitoba will last nine months. He and his parents will need to stay in Winnipeg this entire time. He will be separated from his brothers and sisters which is incredibly hard on all of them.

A highlight for him during this very difficult time is cheering for the Winnipeg Jets. His face lights up when he talks about hockey and his favourite player and "namesake" Dustin Byfuglien. Thank you for your donations which are making this young Jets fan's cancer experience just a little bit easier.

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