Week 4: June 4th - 10th - the Delaloye family

During Week 4 of 5 Weeks for Families, we share the story of Ronald McDonald House guests, the Delaloye family from Neepawa, Manitoba and their healing journey with their daughter, Alyx (age 9).

Nine-year-old Alyx Delaloye lives in Neepawa, Manitoba, a town over two hours away from Winnipeg.

In June 2014, Alyx's left leg started aching, even walking was difficult. The pain became so intense she refused to play her favourite sports, baseball or soccer. After a doctor's appointment, it was assumed she was simply experiencing growing pains.

During a camping trip in mid-July, Alyx's parents started noticing more unusual symptoms in their daughter. Alyx looked extremely pale and lethargic. For a little girl who despises day-time naps, it was strange to hear Alyx wanted to sleep during daylight hours. Many bruises appeared on her legs and chest, her appetite was poor, and she was rapidly losing weight.

After a blood test on Alyx showed signs of severe irregularity, the Delaloye family were told they had to drive from Neepawa to the HSC Children's Hospital in Winnipeg as soon as possible for extensive emergency testing.

The family arrived for their appointment just in time and were sent in right away. Alyx was immediately given a face mask to wear and an antibiotic. After receiving a bone marrow biopsy, the oncologist testing Alyx delivered gut-wrenching news to her parents. Alyx had leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. She was experiencing all the symptoms of the disease. The lymph nodes in her neck and groin were swollen and her liver and spleen were enlarged. Not only that, but Alyx was suffering from a rare blood infection as well.

Extremely distressed by the news, the emotional toll it took on the Delaloyes was almost unbearable. After initially being told they would just need to visit Winnipeg for one day, the family stayed for an entire month at Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba.

After numerous antibiotics, blood and platelet transfusions, spinal taps, chemotherapy, steroids and medication, Alyx's leukemia is in remission and her body is free of cancerous cells. Alyx has regularly undergone treatments and tests in Winnipeg since receiving the news in 2014. During this time, Ronald McDonald House has always been a comforting place to stay for the family as Alyx heals.

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