It’s been a tough haul for Langford’s best-known five year old.
Hannah Day, whose health challenges have included everything from two different types of cancer to pneumonia and C. difficile, is sporting a colourful cast these days, after a sudden fall at home broke her left arm in a number of places.
Despite the latest setback, the fun-loving child will drop the puck for the ceremonial faceoff before the Victoria Grizzlies’ B.C. Hockey League game this Sunday at The Q Centre.
“It’s been one battle after another for her,” said Brooke Ervin, Hannah’s mom. “Last Friday she collapsed and fell over … her arm just shattered like glass hitting the ground.”
Cancer-wise, “Hannah’s been fabulous. We are post-transplant one year in March already, which is huge.” Ervin donated stem cells to her daughter last year in a last-ditch effort to combat her leukemia.
Having endured numerous side effects from radiation and chemotherapy treatments, the youngster is two and a half years cancer free from the original cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare disease that affects the muscles.
While there have been bright spots in her diagnoses, it hasn’t been an easy road for Hannah or her family.
She attended Happy Valley elementary just two days last fall before it became clear her still-compromised immune system couldn’t handle the germ-filled environment, Ervin said. “As soon as she went to school, she immediately got sick.”
Due to the need to provide 24/7 care, Ervin hasn’t been able to return to work full-time as she hoped last summer, which has created financial hardships. She and Hannah’s father, Rob Day, have separated, and Ervin is on the hunt for an appropriate living space for she and her two daughters.
Add to that the need to travel to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver once every week or two for checkups, and the medications Hannah requires to keep her system on an even keel and the expenses add up pretty quick.
“I kind of feel bad every time someone wants to do a fundraiser for us,” Ervin said, adding her goal was to be able to provide for her family without having to dip into fundraiser moneys set aside for Hannah’s future needs. “Sadly, we’ve been attacked a lot (for accepting funds), especially on social media. I think people may just be jealous, or may be fortunate enough to be in better circumstances. There’s nothing to be jealous about; we would trade anything for a healthy child.”
To help with the family’s expenses, the Grizzlies will donate $5 from every adult ticket sold for Sunday’s game against the Langley Rivermen. Start time is 2 p.m.
“The Grizzlies would like to welcome everyone who wants to celebrate and cheer Hannah on through her journey and recovery to good health,” team president John Wilson said in a news release.
Ervin said they appreciate the amazing community support and will continue to fight the good fight.
“There’s not a day that goes by that’s easy; there’s always worry, there’s always stress. It’s something different every day. (But) the kid has battled and battled.”