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Family of young girl battling cancer says thanks to everyone for support
The family of a little girl who is doing remarkably well so far in her battle against cancer wants to thank everyone who has shown support financially and emotionally.
Chloe Kroeger, 3, was diagnosed several months ago with a rare form of cancer. The little girl has been undergoing an intensive series of treatments involving chemotherapy and radiation and is doing remarkably well despite her tender years, said her proud grandmother Shirley Van Vianen.
Chloe’s parents, Jon and Gina, have spent virtually every minute with her since she began treatment three months ago, she said.
“The family just wants to thank everyone for their support and want them to know how much it has meant to them during this difficult time,” said Van Vianen.
Van Vianen said Chloe’s parents have managed to survive financially over the past few months in large part due to a successful fundraising dinner and dance held in Oliver in early June.
Several residents from Osoyoos and Oliver have also contributed money through a trust fund set up in Chloe’s name at the Valley First Credit Union in Penticton, she said.
“The amount of support the family has received has just been incredible and that’s why Jon and Gina want to publicly thank everyone for their support,” she said. “Because so many people have been so generous, they wanted to let people know that Chloe is doing well in her treatment and will hopefully be able to come home soon once this latest series of radiation treatments is finished.
“Our family can not find the most accurate words to describe our feelings in being so blessed by your kindness and prayers We are overwhelmed by the monetary gifts from private citizens, businesses and local service clubs. Thank-you, thank-you.”
Although hospital and accommodations are covered, other expenses abound as neither Jon nor Gina have been able to work, except for a few weeks, since April, she said.
If it wasn’t for the $14,000 raised during the fundraising dinner and auction, they would be in dire financial difficulties, she said.
“They feel forever indebted to all for being enabled to remain together as a family so they can lean on each other,” said Van Vianen.
Chloe is starting to have side effects from both the chemo and radiation therapies. She has sores all through her mouth and although she is still able to eat and drink, Jon and Gina have been told that as soon as she reaches a predetermined weight, she will have a feeding tube placed, she said.
Jon and Gina have now been told that they will have to stay in Seattle at least a week longer than expected and maybe more. Chloe will be sent back to Vancouver as soon as she is well enough.
Presently, they are staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle. Here they share a communal kitchen with only two stoves, with 20 other families.
They are not permitted to have food in their ‘room’. Still they are grateful to have free accommodations so that the four of them can be together.
Chloe has radiation daily from Monday to Friday. They have early morning appointments each day at the radiation centre.
As of last week, Chloe has completed 18 of 28 treatments.
Each day she must be sedated in order to be still for the radiation.
Her brother Lucas has been a “real trooper” but he is only age five and would rather not be pulled out of bed so early every morning just to sit around waiting for Chloe to ‘wake up’.
Her son and daughter-in-law are remarkable parents and remain confident their daughter is going to make a full recovery, she said.
“A very good friend of mine helped me put my feelings into words,” she said. “I do not think that I could have dealt with the same challenges with such grace. We have not heard them complain in any way about what they are having to do. It is heartwarming to see the joy they continue to share as a family whenever you see them. Smiles are abundant and Chloe has the biggest one of all. At only three, she still looks at the world with joy and awe.”
Jon and Gina have met another family that has a six year old girl who completed treatment for the same cancer as Chloe. She has been cancer free for one year.
“It made Jon and Gina far more comfortable with what they have to put their little girl through.”
They have also met another young girl who has survived the same type of cancer, which also provided great optimism.