Nanaimo family shares story of daughter’s cancer treatment

Nanaimo family shares story of daughter's cancer treatment on Shaw Cable broadcast.

Tanya Iatrides sees every day with her daughter Mary, who was diagnosed with leukemia at 14 months, as a precious gift.

“It’s so exciting to see every little phase of her life,” said Iatrides, about watching her daughter grow up.

Iatrides and her husband Peter spent six months with Mary at B.C. Children’s Hospital, starting in July 2009, as she underwent treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. They left their jobs and sold their vehicle to stay with their daughter.

Mary, now four, has been cancer free for two years.

“Looking back now, a lot of it is just a blur. You just go day by day because you have to and you draw strength from those around you,” said Iatrides.

Mary had always bruised easily, but when the family brought their concerns to doctors, they were told it was just part of the experience of a normal toddler learning to walk. When the family got the flu in the spring of 2009, Mary didn’t recover.

The family brought her to the doctors who ordered tests. Iatrides received a call at work to take Mary to the hospital.

The doctor wouldn’t tell her what the diagnosis was, but told her a helicopter was waiting to take Mary to B.C. Children’s Hospital. As soon as they arrived, tests started. Mary started chemotherapy treatment and was given a different cocktail of drugs every month.

Iatrides said the experience was overwhelming, but the staff were amazing at Children’s Hospital.

“Without [B.C. Children’s Hospital] and the staff, my daughter would not be here today,” she said. “They became family. They became a really important part of our lives. You have to trust your caregiver when they are taking care of such a precious thing.”

The Iatrides family is appearing on the Shaw Cable broadcast of the 14th annual A World of Smiles Telethon, in support of B.C. Children’s Hospital, Sunday (May 27), from 5-11 p.m. The Iatrides will share their story during the first hour of the broadcast.

“You don’t think about how necessary [B.C. Children’s Hospital] until you need it,” said Iatrides.

Joanna Newman, B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation spokewoman, said money raised goes into the excellence of child health fund and helps purchase equipment and fund education programs and research.

In 2010, Children’s Hospital received more than 205,000 visits from more than 78,000 sick or injured children across the province. More than 700 children receive life-saving cancer treatment each year.

For more information about A World of Smiles, please go to www.bcchf.ca and click on the events tab.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Woodgrove Centre has a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic operated by Island Health. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 vaccine clinic set up at Woodgrove Centre

Anyone 12 and up can receive a first dose of mRNA vaccine seven days a week

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
Central Island’s United Way merging with other chapters to create United Way B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Young people graduating in COVID-19 times have shown resilience. (Stock photo)
Editorial: Class of 2021 has shown smarts and resilience

Congratulations and good luck to Grade 12s who have persevered during the pandemic

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
Council members and witnesses from the Hupacasath First Nation, left, and Tseshaht First Nation, right, prepare to raise their respective flags in front of Port Alberni City Hall on Monday, June 21, 2021. The flags will permanently fly as part of the city’s reconciliation work. See more coverage from the flag raising ceremony on page A5. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Vancouver Island First Nations flags to fly permanently at city hall

Addition of flags are one Port Alberni response to reconciliation

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

Most Read