Week 3: May 28th - June 3rd, The Delaloye Family
During Week 3 of 5 Weeks for Families, we share the story of Ronald McDonald House guests, the Delaloye family from Neepawa, Manitoba and how they are able to stay close with their daughter, Alyx. (Clockwise from top-left: Jody, Hayden, Reg and Alyx)
In June 2014, Jody noticed 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. In mid-July, Alyx’s parents started noticing more unusual symptoms in their daughter. Alyx looked extremely pale and lethargic. She even started napping during the day.
After witnessing this extreme change in their daughter’s health and personality, the family knew something had to be wrong with Alyx. After a blood test on her 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. After some initial testing, they were told the gut-wrenching diagnosis that 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.
After being told they may need to spend the night in Winnipeg, the family ended up having to stay an entire month to be by Alyx while she was receiving emergency treatment for her diagnosis. Fortunately, Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba was available to offer them a comforting place to stay during this challenging time.
The family became very thankful for the many ways Ronald McDonald House made their lives a little easier. “For me to stay at Ronald McDonald House, it was very convenient. If I needed to be at the hospital quick it was a short walk, about two blocks away. They have a big kitchen there if you need to cook yourself meals and the staff is amazing. We have become close with a lot of them,” Reg, Alyx’s father explains.
Extremely distressed by the news, the emotional toll it took on the Delaloyes was almost unbearable. However, they were thankful to find a helpful support system in Ronald McDonald House. “My favourite part about the House is that it’s so convenient for me. I have so many stresses in my life right now that it’s just nice to call and ask if they have a room. When they confirm it, you can breathe a little easier”, says Jody, Alyx's mom.
After numerous antibiotics, blood and platelet transfusions, spinal taps, chemotherapy, steroids, and medication, Alyx’s condition was in remission and her body became free of leukemia cells. Despite this good news, the Delaloye family’s journey was not over. The treatment time for a female patient with leukemia is over two years and Alyx had regularly undergone chemotherapy in Winnipeg since receiving the news. Jody drove in with Alyx every nine days from Neepawa for treatments. The Delaloye family continue to stay at Ronald McDonald House as treatments and follow-ups are needed. Jody explains, “It’s like a family to us and definitely "home-away-from-home".