PENTICTON – It’s 7-year-old Myla Ganzeveld’s favourite day and this year, Easter Sunday is a little extra special for the Penticton girl.
“Because I’m out of the hospital,” says Myla. “Last year I had to be in the hospital for Easter.”
She was in hospital, battling cancer.
“It was terrifying,” says her mother Jennifer Ganzeveld.
Jennifer says it was about a year and a half ago that Myla was misdiagnosed with an earache that kept getting worse. After four months, her pain became unbearable. That’s when doctors discovered she had a tumour.
“By February 6, , they diagnosed her with Rhabdomyosarcoma,” says Jennifer.
“It’s a very aggressive form of cancer so they started chemo three days after her diagnosis.”
The active kindergartener, who loved gymnastics, had to go back and forth to hospitals in the Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Seattle for almost a year.
“I had to go to a lot of different places to have the cancer go away,” says Myla.
It was a difficult time for the entire family, and Myla lost a significant amount of weight and much of her energy.
“It was to the point where the tumour was pushing on to her eardrum and down on to her throat and closing her airway,” says Jennifer.
Then a few months ago, the family got some great news.
“We had three month scans and it showed there is no evidence of disease so we are super happy,” says Jennifer.
After a long, hard fight, Myla is cancer-free.
“I’m happy now that it’s done,” says Myla.
Which means she can get back to being her active self. This year, for the first time she tested her skills on the ski hill and the ice rink. But what she’s looking forward to most is her upcoming trip to Disney World.
“I’m so excited…I can’t wait to meet Belle at Disney World,” says Myla.
The children’s wish foundation is granting Myla’s wish. As the excitement builds for what’s ahead for the now healthy girl, she takes time to reflect on her challenging year and wants to give some advice to any other child who is battling cancer.
“Stay strong like I did,” says Myla.