Lily Leinana is battling for her life at B.C. Children Hosptial diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma. (Contributed) Leinana

Lily donated hair, now battles cancer

Vancouver Island girl, 9, faces a months-long ordeal

No child should ever have to battle cancer.

But for Sooke’s Lily Leinana, it’s a struggle she faces every day.

The nine-year-old has been hospitalized at B.C. Children’s Hospital since early April after she diagnosed with stage-four Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer associated with impaired immunity and is rapidly fatal if left untreated.

“The week before she was hospitalized, she came boating with us and she was fine. She was always over at our house on play dates and my daughter loves her as a best friend,” said Holly Wilson, whose daughter Niaya has been devastated by her friend’s illness.

The ordeal started a week after the boating adventure when Lily felt ill and her mother Merideth Leinana decided to seek medical advice in the face of what she assumed was no more than the stomach flu.

“We took her to be checked out and before we knew it she was quickly moved to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. She hasn’t been home since,” said Merideth from Lily’s bedside.

“The first few weeks were very rough. They started chemotherapy right away, and it was so hard on her. She’s scared and sick and just wants to go home … but she can’t.”

Merideth and her husband have stayed in Vancouver to help care for Lily while her two sons, 13 and 18, stay with family in Sooke and wanted to express their gratitude to the people of Sooke for the support that’s been offered.

Lily was chosen by the Canadian Cancer Society as a 2019 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock junior rider. A gofundme page was established to help with expenses facing the family as both Meredith and her husband have taken leave from their jobs to be with their daughter (www.gofundme.com/help-lily-so-silly) and even Lily’s friends are involved.

“My daughter made a bunch of donation jars that she put our in various stores and she’s raised quite a bit of money,” said Wilson. “She’s so upset about her friend, and it’s hard because all Lily’s friends want to help but really can’t.”

One of the way’s those friends have expressed their support has been to donate their hair for a wig for Lily.

ALSO READ: LILY DONATED

“They’re bringing it to the hospital when they visit and, even if it can’t be used for Lily, it can be used for another sick child,” said Merideth.

Those hair donations are particularly poignant in light of the fact that it was only a year and a half ago that Lily had donated her own hair for kids with cancer.

“I want to donate my hair for kids with cancer,” she’d said at the time. “I don’t think I’ll miss it.”

The prognosis for Lily is uncertain, but her mother said her courageous little girl is battling the illness and that the last few days have seen improvement.

“She’s just finished the first of six rounds of chemotherapy, and we expect that we’ll be here for six to eight months. At the end of that time, we hope that she comes away cancer free.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Port Alberni youth breaks neck in riverbank accident

Fundraiser has been set up for youth and his family

Editorial: Self-serve, no service

Self-serve mentality is invading our economy

Parksville resort fire caused by flammable gas used to extract oil from cannabis

Investigators detail reasons for explosion and blaze that destroyed building

Wildfire burning near Taylor Flats in the Alberni Valley

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

Greater Victoria man shares the secrets behind a portrait of a Canadian Bride

The portrait was painted by a famed Belgian artist immediately after the Second World War

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read