At 10, Karalyn Giron of Richmond has already undergone surgery and radiation treatment to quell a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and is about to have more.
She insists that it doesn’t bother her.
“I just go with the flow,” she told a visitor.
Under gentle questioning by her mother, Katelyn Tayler, Karalyn agreed that she didn’t like the headaches and missing school.
“I kind of miss my friends,” Karalyn said.
On January, 5th, 2018, her mom was told what she described as the “worst news any parent could ever hear.”
A neurosurgeon told Tayler her daughter Karalyn had a supratentorial anaplastic ependymoma, a rapidly growing brain tumour that required emergency surgery, following by proton radiation treatment that was only available in the U.S., in Seattle.
During the first trip south, there was no room at the Seattle Ronald McDonald house, so they stayed in a hotel.
“That mounts up pretty quick in American dollars,” Tayler, a working single mother of three, estimated.
After 22 month in remission, Karalyn’s tumor has returned.
She has had more surgery, and will require another trip to Seattle.
A friend has set up a gofundme page “fundraising for Kara,” but so far donations have been slow to come in.
On Saturday (Feb. 1), at Tayler’s Richmond home, Gerald and Ashley Samborski, a father and son from Langley, dropped by to make things a little better.
They had raised $5,000 to honour the memory of Adeline Samborski, Ashley’s mom and Gerald’s wife, who died in 2013 following an eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
In the hospice, her son got to see how, like him, many people were struggling with finances while a loved one was fighting cancer.
His dad helped him out with bills, and after Adeline passed, they decided to help other people in similar situations by raising money.
So far, two families have benefited, one in Abbotsford, and one in Burnaby.
On Saturday, Ashley chatted with Katelyn about the emotions generated by seeing a loved one go through cancer treatments.
“It’s up and down,” Ashley commented.
“You know what it’s like,” Katleyn observed.
Then, with little fanfare, Ashley handed an envelope to Katelyn, who teared up and gave him a big hug.
Father and son have made some adjustments to the way they raise funds, eliminating a website in favour of a Facebook page to save costs, and abandoning the sale of yellow t shirts with an “ef cancer” logo.
READ MORE: Langley man says ‘ef’ cancer
“Ef cancer” had two meanings, one of them unprintable and the other, for younger or more sensitive readers, was“everyone fights cancer.”
Now they are calling their home-grown campaign the “Adeline Samborski 5K Give Away” instead.
Ashley explained that the t-shirts didn’t raise all that much, especially compared to the donations his quietly persuasive dad was able to generate through direct approaches to potential sponsors.
In fact, the Samborksis have raised enough to help another family.
“We’ve actually got another $5K waiting for a family,” Ashley said.
It will be an informal selection process, where people can suggest worthy recipients online or by email.