2020 Team 2 - Team Rylie

At the age of 15 my daughters life and all of ours changed forever. After numerous visits to emergency and our family doctor, we had finally found out the cause of my daughters worsening leg and hip pain. With her family doctor assuring her the pain was not real, claiming it was depression and weight, Rylie was almost relieved that she finally had a diagnosis and would finally get something for the pain.

Rylie was having shortness of breath. Another trip to Oshawa emergency and a simple chest x-ray confirmed in a few minutes that she had 4th stage cancer. We were told to go home and wait, someone would call us. We didn't wait, we headed to Sick Kids. Rylie was admitted immediately, tests were done.  A team of Dr's explained to me that Rylie had advanced stage Ewings Sarcoma, a very rare bone cancer that affects 1 in 2million girls diagnosed with cancer. She had 6 months to live. A month before her 16th birthday I had to go and tell my daughter she was going to die.

Rylie was a strong, very intelligent, independent girl. She loved music, make up, and was an amazing artist. Although she didn't like to go to school, she excelled at it. She planned to be a lawyer. She never complained or wallowed in the fact that she would never make it to 17. Her concern was about me and her brother. She made me promise that I would be happy after she was gone. After a short battle and some great experiences through Make a Wish and Emily s House, she passed away 5 months and 28 days later. April 28, 2014.

Sick Kids connected us to Emily's House, one of the only pediatric hospices in the area. It had just recently opened. We were so lucky to have this available to us. When the time came, they welcomed us and all our family. We were able to stay in a place that felt like home. It was comfortable and warm. We could all be together.  They talked to Rylie about things on her bucket list and made as many as possible happen.   They had snakes brought in, had someone come in and do Henna on Rylie (as close as we could get to a tattoo) lol. They even arranged a hot air balloon ride. This was all done at no expense to the family.  The staff were amazing.  Without Emily’s House, there are very little options for palliative children, none that will cater not only to the child but the family as well.

Emily’s House is a non-profit organization that relies on government funding and private donations to stay open. With the community’s support they will continue to be able to provided this amazing service. 

 
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