Red Deer family rallying around child born with cancer

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“He’s getting an MRI again, because we’re wanting to see how fast it has actually spread,” said Vermeesch. “His brainstem is pushed over two centimetres already.”

A Thursday MRI found the tumour had doubled in size in the last week and Body’s life expectancy had changed from weeks to days.

Opinions from across Canada returned Thursday confirming Brody was too small for chemo and surgery. Doctors also told the family the cancer would likely return.

A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help search for new methods to help Brody and to support his family as they care for him. Donations were suspended after it met its goal, having raised just over $9,000 by Friday morning.

“(The funds) are definitely for alternative medicine … we’ve looked at some options but we haven’t quite decided with the doctors which options are the best for him,” said Vermeesch

Vermeesch and Stevens have been unable to work as they care for Brody. They were also hoping funds could be put towards flights in case a doctor outside the province was able to treat their baby.

But more importantly, the parents wanted additional avenues to get Brody’s story out as far as possible.

“A lot of people wanted to help and this was kind of like a way for people to feel like they can help us out,” said Stevens. “We’re just looking to get a story out there because, honestly, we never have heard of this.”

With Brody being born during the COVID-19 pandemic, his parents said the rest of the family hasn’t been allowed in the hospital to meet him.

Stevens and Veermesch have spent every day in the hospital, staying from 9 a.m. to midnight. The only time they’ve been leaving is to meet with other family members outside the hospital.

“We see our family every day, they come to the parkade and we go and they bring us dinner,” said Stevens. “There’s times we literally will talk about serious things and they’ll start crying and we’re just kind of cold to it.”

With Brody’s condition worsening the family is now working to find a way around hospital pandemic policies limiting who can visit.


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