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Abbotsford girl, 8, still smiling through years of treatment for rare cancer

Mom says the care they get at BC Children’s Hospital is second to none
Avery, 8, has been a patient of BC Children’s Hospital since she was five years old, receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer. (Submitted photo)

Not every cancer story ends in sadness these days.

Treatments are improving with advancements in research, and survival rates of many cancers are getting more and more optimistic.

That’s the case for eight-year-old Avery from Abbotsford. She was just five when she started experiencing mysterious pains in her head and in one of her legs. After many whole body scans, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH).

While the diagnosis was devastating for Avery’s mom, she was also relieved to be told that the odds were good for her daughter’s kind of cancer.

To start her treatment, Avery endured multiple tests, scans and biopsies to locate the cancer. Lesions and tumours were found in her bones, mainly on her skull and pelvis. A one-year regimen of chemotherapy began right away on July 11, 2019.

While that initial treatment was successful, it was short lived, with a recurrence of a tumour found in November 2020.

By the following January, after more rounds of scans again eliminating any other area of her body, they confirmed she had a reoccurrence in the bone only. But this time there was only one tumour in her skull so she was placed on an alternate treatment for up to two years.

Avery is currently 10 months into this new treatment and so far the treatment is proving to be working. Her mom says she’s happy, as always, and is able to carry on with her life like any eight-year-old girl.

The team at BC Children’s Hospital have come to be a second family to the mom and daughter, and they are grateful for the amazing care even through the pandemic.

“Not only are they working in one of the hardest jobs in health care, they now have been doing it through this pandemic and continue to provide the same quality service to B.C. kids,” says Avery’s mom. “Their dedication means my little girl is progressing in the right direction and doing well in her fight; I don’t know how to thank them all enough.”

Through it all, Avery’s resilience has stayed strong.

“She is still the happiest little girl,” her mom said.

They were happy to share their story based on their experience, to help promote the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Choices Lottery.

This year’s grand prize winner will choose from prize homes located in Vancouver, South Surrey, White Rock, Vernon, Sooke, Courtenay, and Kelowna, or choose $2.3 million cash. Tickets are already on sale, and will be until midnight on April 7, or until they sell out.

The Choices Lottery supports world-leading research initiatives that lead to innovative discoveries and treatments, which in turn directly help experts at BC Children’s Hospital advance their quest to conquer childhood illnesses. Here, more than 1,000 researchers work to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Lottery funds help accelerate the pace of turning discoveries into life-saving treatments – ultimately helping more kids get back to being kids, just like Avery.

“With the help of Choices Lottery, BC Children’s Hospital can focus on funding research that leads to new medical solutions, which enhances the care of sick and injured children across B.C.,” said Akash Rattan, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “As the pandemic continues and our collective health remains top of mind, our dedicated hospital experts and teams are more inspired than ever to keeping our children healthy. Lottery funds go a long way in providing our research teams with valuable knowledge and discoveries that lead to local and global breakthroughs in pediatric care.”

All prize home video tours are available to be viewed online at

Choices Lottery tickets are $100 for three-packs, $175 for six-packs, $250 for nine-packs, and $500 for 20-packs. The Lottery also includes extra games — the 50/50 Plus Lottery and Daily Cash Plus Game.

“To encourage early ticket buying, the Early Bird prize is valued at over $350,000 and has 51 winners,” said Erin Cebula, Choices Lottery celebrity spokesperson. “One early bird winner will have the option of choosing a private jet vacation experience to Maui with luxury accommodation for six along with a 2021 Audi e-Tron Progressiv Quattro and $25,000 cash, or a fully furnished city-view suite at Watermark Beach Resort along with $10,000 cash, or $250,000 cash.”

Individuals can purchase their tickets online, by phone at 604-692-2333 or toll-free at 1-888-887-8771, in person at London Drugs and Save-On Foods.

READ MORE: City, sea, or suburbs? The choice could be yours!


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Avery, 8, has been a patient of BC Children’s Hospital since she was five years old, receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer. (Submitted photo)
Avery, 8, has been a patient of BC Children’s Hospital since she was five years old, receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer. (Submitted photo)

Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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