An Okotoks family is seeing some community support during an incredibly difficult time.
On January 27, 2023, young Harlow Farewell was taken to the Alberta Children's Hospital, where doctors found a mass the size of a golf ball in her brain.
She was only two years old at the time.
The mass was removed, but after some investigating, Harlow was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of cancer.
"Upon further investigation, they found that it was a cancer that's called choroid plexus carcinoma," explains Harlow's mother Brandy Farewell. "Which is, apparently, a very rare and aggressive cancer that targets little ones, I guess. That's what they told us. There's only, like, ten within Canada and it's about the same number throughout worldwide."
According to the Mayo Clinic, the choroid plexus creates the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that encases the brain and spinal cord, offering them protection.
In instances of choroid plexus carcinoma, it can cause too much CSF in the brain and is most common in children under the age of two.
After doing chemotherapy from February to June last year, the family thought they were in the clear.
"We took a break because everything seemed to be fine," explains Farewell. "And then in September, we had an MRI that showed five more masses."
Then, at the end of October, another MRI showed that those five masses had grown.
The MRI also showed that four additional masses had developed.
"There are no more treatments that can be done to alleviate these masses. So, right now we are living in hospice care and every day it gets a little bit worse," says Farewell.
Since December, Pho Hoai and Complete Health Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center have been raising money for the Farewell family, to help cover expenses while Harlow is in hospice care.
"Complete Health and Chiropractic, they are raising funds for us, because I was a stay at home. And so, my husband, he was the sole provider and he's been off work now since February. Yeah, bills just keep on coming even though life stops," Farwell says.
"Pho Hoai was raising, for every spring roll, salad roll they sold, because Harlow loves Pho Hoai, with the spring rolls and the dip. They take $2 from everyone they sold and then they matched it for us," Farewell says.
Pho Hoai had raised just over $1000 from their Spring Rolls for Harlow campaign and then matched that amount to give the Harlow family over $2000.
Complete Health Chiropractic has raised $1200 so far and are hoping for more people to donate.