Life for a Mission family hasn’t been the same since its youngest member was diagnosed with leukemia more than a month ago.
Four-year old Peyton had been sick for three weeks before tests revealed the disease, said her mother Jenn Ferguson.
She knew something was wrong when the usually energetic Peyton wasn’t herself. She was tired all the time, but didn’t have a runny nose or a cough. Doctors originally said it was a viral infection, explained Ferguson.
“April 27 was when everything crashed on us.”
Ferguson was at work when she received news from her boyfriend that her youngest daughter wasn’t doing well. Ferguson’s father took Peyton to the doctor’s office, but they soon found themselves at the hospital in Abbotsford where the young girl was hooked up to oxygen and an IV.
“It was scary,” recalled Ferguson. “They ran tests, then transferred her to Children’s Hospital for more testing, more blood work.”
The family learned about the cancer the next day and committed to a treatment plan right away.
“We spent the first week in Children’s (hospital), and we were going once a week, but sometimes twice, for blood transfusions and chemo treatments,” said Ferguson.
The cancer cells were still present after a month of medications and doctors recommended increasing chemo sessions to four days a week.
Peyton isn’t the lively and witty girl she once was, and even her siblings have a hard time cheering her up.
“I’m stressed,” said Ferguson. “I have four other kids, and I feel I don’t get to see them as much. All my energy is going to Peyton.”
Ferguson said she is fortunate her two eldest children, who are 11 and 12 years old, understand what is going on and are helping as much as they can to care for their younger siblings, who are six and seven years old.
As a result of the frequent trips into Surrey and Vancouver for treatment, Ferguson has had to leave her job and is now relying on the generosity of family and friends to help her get through this difficult time.
“Thankfully my boss is great and said I could go back when I’m ready.”
Ferguson has also had support from local churches and supporters have organized two fundraisers to help her with food and gas.
Ferguson’s mom, Rita Ferguson, will cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love when she raises at least $200 in a bottle drive. Ferguson’s cousin and aunt have contributed $200 and are challenging the rest of the community to help.
Anyone wanting to make a donation can contact Rita through her Facebook page or the open group called Queen Peypey. She can also be reached at 604-300-3903.
The second fundraiser is on online effort at www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/queen-peypey/173905. About $345 has been raised, but organizers have set a goal of $1,000.