“We moved into the IWK on Mother’s Day 2018,” said Randa Crawford, mom to one-year old Siena Bjurstrom. That was the day she and her partner Dean Bjurstrom learned their baby girl had cancer.
Her diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, along with her young age, put Siena in a high-risk category. She would require a rigorous treatment plan of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
“Nothing prepares you for the shock of hearing your child is ill,” said Randa. “One minute you have a healthy baby and the next you find out she’s really sick.“
“It was a lot for us to take in,” said Dean. “But thank god for the IWK– our lives have totally changed and they’ve really helped us.”
For the past eight-months Siena has been an inpatient on the IWK’s oncology unit. She’ll be there until her treatment is complete which her parents hope will be soon. It hasn’t always been an easy period for the family, who have a two-year old daughter Sofia living back home in New Brunswick, but they credit the team at the IWK for making their stay the best possible.
“We are really thankful that the IWK is here for our region,” says Randa. “They’ve not just been there for Siena, but they’ve been there for us as a family every step of the way.”