A seven-year-old Mission girl was presented with Scouts Canada’s Award for Fortitude last week for her brave battle with leukemia.
A member of the 4th Mission Beavers, Peyton Dionne was diagnosed with pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April 2014 at the age of four.
A few months later, when she was five and undergoing treatment, Peyton decided she wanted to join the Beaver troop that her brother, Malcolm, was already a part of.
However, her illness would pose some restrictions.
Peyton was told if she joined she wouldn’t be able to attend all meetings due to her low immune system and the need to be on isolation. She also wouldn’t be able to go on any camping trips, as her chemotherapy medicine couldn’t be distributed by the leaders.
None of that mattered to Peyton, who was excited to join and be able to interact with many new friends.
As the next two years went by, Peyton was slowly able to join more meetings as her immune system was building up, but she was still unable to attend sleepover camps due to her medication.
As of Aug. 28, 2016, Peyton has completed her chemotherapy.
“She is a tough little girl,” said Peyton’s mother, Jennifer Ferguson.
Ferguson said Peyton now has monthly checkups to ensure she doesn’t relapse, but other than that, she is a perfectly normal seven-year-old.
“She is happy and helpful,” said Ferguson.
This was Peyton’s third year of Beavers, and for the first time she was able to attend the first camping trip at Rolley lake.
Always with the biggest smile to brighten the darkest room, Peyton is the first to help Sunshine (Maureen Coates) set up tables and chairs for art stations.
She has assisted in Apple Day at Save-On-Foods, as well as helping with Mother’s Day flower sales.
Peyton also assists with Troops and Cubs bottle drives, sorting bottles. Leaders say her cheery attitude and a zest for life have allowed Peyton to captures the heart of many.
Outside of Beavers’ meetings, Peyton shows exceptional work habits at school. Her teacher also expresses that Peyton has so much enthusiasm to learn and willing to help any of her classmates in need. On Sept. 28, 2016, Peyton joined first responders from the “Cops for Cancer” tour as they visited Mission schools, spreading awareness of childhood cancer.
“She goes up to Cubs this fall and she’s excited to go to Cubs and do all the camping activities,” said Ferguson.
As for her award presentation, Ferguson said Peyton was “shocked, excited and a little unsure (of) what was going on.”
But always had a smile on her face.