When Sian (a Welsh Gaelic name, pronounced "SHAHN") was 5 months old, her parents found a lump on her foot, which doctors diagnosed as a very rare form of cancer called Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour. They thought it started in her pancreas and spread through her bloodstream.
Her femur -- the biggest bone in the body -- had broken, and she could not pull herself upright in her cot. Her parents were told that cancer makes bones very frangible -- easily broken.
After months of chemotherapy, radiation treatment and multiple surgeries, things started to look up. In consultation with the Paediatric Oncology Group (some 16 hospitals across North America which shared information on chemotherapy protocols), the doctors tried experimental drugs, and Sian responded. That is, until Christmas day, when her mother found lumps on Sian's jaws and legs. More radiation followed, but it was a temporary reprieve. Sian died less than 3 months later, at the age of 17 months.
In her memory, her parents set up The Sian Bradwell Fund to help pay for medical equipment for the better diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer. The Fund has raised some $1,800,000 for children's hospitals thus far.
The Fund was incorporated in 2000 and is run 100% by volunteers. It was re-certified as a non-soliciting Not-for-Profit organisation in 2014 and reports annually to Corporations Canada.
Sian's story is not unique, unfortunately ... please consider supporting children who are going through what she once did.