For Stephanie Carroll and her family, the battle is almost over.
The eight-year-old Fort Frances girl has made it through eight chemotherapy sessions and two surgeries in her fight against cancer.
Just one more surgery—a bloodstem transplant—is left. After that, her cancer should stay in remission.
“We’re hoping,” noted Carroll’s mother, Angela.
Carroll was supposed to have had her final surgery Jan. 14 but after coming into contact with someone who had chicken pox, the doctors decided to put it off until Feb. 2.
And while that means waiting a bit longer to get things over with, the good news is Carroll and her entire family will be able to attend a benefit dinner for them here Saturday.
The Fort Frances Lions Club is staging the event at La Place Rendez-Vous. Tickets cost $15 each, with all proceeds going to help cover the cost of taking the youngster into Winnipeg for treatment and surgery.
The food has been donated by Thompson’s and Safeway, and West End Motors and Rainycrest have both offered use of a van to provide transportation to the Rendez-Vous for those without vehicles.
Angela Carroll said the Lions approached her family asking if they could help, something which has brought a lot of encouragement.
“I thought that was great," she noted. "Since this has happened, I had to take a leave of absence at work. It’s been strenuous financially.”
Carroll was diagnosed with a demfoplastic small round-celled tumor of the abdomen early last spring. Her mother said the news came as quite a shock at first.
“In the beginning, it was pretty touch and go," she recalled. ”Just the word ‘cancer’ throws everyone for a loop.
“But we faced the problems and go through it from there," she added. "It certainly has changed the family routine.”
Although Carroll has been able to get her platelets and blood transfusions here, there were times during her chemotherapy when she would just come back from Winnipeg only to go back again because she had developed a fever.
The family hopes the bloodstem transplant can bring a happy end to this ordeal. And Carroll was quite proud of her daughter, noting the eight-year-old has handled things tremendously well.
“She’s involved with anything that has anything to do with her at all," she said. "She has her good days and not many bad days—she’s actually been handling it better than us.”