Beaumont girl with terminal brain tumour begins checking off bucket list
'We're just trying to get her to do things she enjoys,' mother says
A Beaumont girl with a terminal brain tumour is trying to make her final months the best ones yet.
Janaya Chekowski-McKenzie, 8, started getting headaches last fall. They got worse as time went on, and on Feb. 1, she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.
Her family was told she has a 50 per cent chance of living another year, if treated with radiation to slow the growth of the tumour.
Without radiation, she would have had two months, Janaya's mother, Amanda Crow said.
"My heart was in my throat, I couldn't breathe. It was crazy ... I just lost all my cool," she said about the moment the doctor gave the diagnosis.
I want the best to happen, I want there to be a miracle. But I need to prepare myself if there's not.- Amanda Crow, Janaya's mother
"I need to prepare myself for the worst. I want the best to happen, I want there to be a miracle. But I need to prepare myself if there's not."
Crow said Janaya has started radiation. She goes in for treatment Monday to Friday and will continue to do so until the end of March.
Trying to stay positive
The community in Beaumont has come together to support Janaya's family with fundraisers and offers of support, Crow said.
A crowdfunding campaign has been started for the Grade 3 girl, with proceeds directed toward covering medical and living costs, and helping Janaya cross everything off her bucket list.
She wants to go to Mexico, swim with dolphins, help paleontologists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, do laser tag, have a pool party and go camping.
Crow started a blog called Janaya's Journey to keep friends and family updated on her daughter's health.
Janaya also has a YouTube channel. In her first video, she introduces herself and unboxes a new book about dinosaurs.
"We're trying to keep her positive," Crow said. "With these YouTube videos, we're seeing her personality come through again. We didn't hear her laugh for a few days, and that was hard because she's always laughing. She's always smiling.
"We're just trying to get her to do things she enjoys."