June 15, 2018
Champion Child Payton In the Fight of Her Life
It’s been a whirlwind to say the least. When nine-year-old Payton Sernick of was named Saskatchewan ambassador the Champions Program presented by Walmart in fall 2017, she was over the moon to accept her new role and take it by storm. One month later, she received the worst news imaginable – her cancer had returned. The spunky Estevan girl was in for the fight of her life all over again.
Fast forward to June 2018, Payton has completed countless rounds of chemo at Edmonton’s children’s hospital in advance of a bone marrow transplant in Calgary. The family was packing their bags to move out of their temporary Edmonton home when they hit another setback. Payton’s chemo had not been effective as doctors had hoped.
With active cancer cells in a cluster near her stomach, pediatric oncologists called for new rounds of radiation before she could take on a bone marrow transplant.
It was a tough go for Payton, but upon arriving in Calgary, the family learned she had a 100% match waiting in the wings. On June 7, Payton went in for her biggest procedure yet and began the start of a new life. She received 13 million new cells, creating a dramatic turnaround in her body, even changing her blood type from A+ to O+. With her head held high, Payton faced her biggest fear and is counting down the days until she can celebrate the end of 100 days in isolation.
“Day 1 of 100 is over. This is a long marathon until we are in the clear of her critical care,” says Payton’s mom Andrea. “But we’re grateful for the specialists who are here to guide us and for the support we’ve received. We’re thankful for all the encouragement and love we’ve seen from people across the province.”
Determined to beat cancer once and for all, this strong and mighty girl continues to prove that cancer doesn’t have to be scary. It’s all part of what makes this little Champion so special.
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