Hannah Day's cancer returns, awaits stem cell transplant

A child from Victoria, B.C., who has battled two different types of cancer during her four short years is again fighting for her life.

4-year-old girl from Victoria, B.C., beat cancer once and is now battling a different kind

Vancouver Island girl has battled two different types of cancer 2:18

A child from Victoria, B.C., who has battled two different types of cancer during her four short years is again fighting for her life.

Hannah Day, 4, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was around three years old. She underwent intensive treatment and went into remission. The drug that cured her, however, is suspected to have caused Leukemia.

Day's family searched for a stem cell donor match while the little girl underwent chemotherapy. The results of that treatment are back, and the prognosis is not good.

"She's actually relapsed in treatment and the leukemia has come back about five times more than it was back in January. So now the odds are against us," said Day's mother Brooke Ervin.

"Today, I had to sign my quality of life forms for her. It was very hard to sign those papers. I was shaking. The odds are not looking good for us, but miracles happen."

'Hannah is just such a fighter'

The family has decided to try one last treatment. Ervin is going to donate one litre of her stem cells to her daughter in hopes it will stave off the cancer. However, there is a 40 per cent change Day's organs will shut down.

"They do know that there's lots of things that are going to happen, like the graft versus host. They do know that her body is going to reject my body, so it's just waiting to see what happens," said Ervin.

The transplant will take place in four days, and the family is preparing in case the unimaginable happens.

"The doctor, the saddest part about it is I made him promise me that she wouldn't suffer. ... He promised me she wouldn't suffer. He said that no matter what happens to her, he promised me that he wouldn't let her suffer. So that's all I wanted to hear, and I hope that's the case no matter what comes," said Ervin.

 But Ervin is quick to remind that her daughter is a fighter.

"That's what keeps us so strong, is that Hannah is just such a fighter. She doesn't let anything take her down. I just want all this fight to be worth it, you know?" 

With files from the CBC's Emily Elias and C