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Young cancer patient gets wish for book shopping spree
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:21PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:54PM MST
After enduring a year and a half of radiation, and countless surgeries in her battle against thyroid cancer, a Devon teenager was granted a brief break – to fulfill a wish that will help her handle her day-to-day fight.
Rayvn Stevens has a long list of books she wants to read – on Tuesday, the Make a Wish foundation gave the 13-year-old the chance to make that list much shorter.
Chapters in West Edmonton Mall opened half an hour early, just for her to fulfill her wish to go on a book shopping spree.
The avid reader said her love of reading has helped her cope with the events of the last year and a half.
“It kind of gives me something to do,” Stevens said. “It’s an easy escape to go somewhere else and someone else’s problems.”
In July, 2011 she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, since then, she has endured radiation and a number of surgical procedures to remove her thyroid, and 62 tumours.
Her parents said all of the medical stress has been hard for the whole family to deal with.
“As a mom, you just want to hug her and make everything better,” Rayvn’s mom Samantha Stevens said. “For the 14 days of isolation she had, we couldn’t touch her, couldn’t hug her, and couldn’t eat with her.”
Her medical battle isn’t over yet – she will once again have surgery in only a few weeks, she has more radiation treatments ahead and since her thyroid gland has been removed, she will need to be on medication for the rest of her life.
For now, her family is grateful for the chance to forget about her battle for a short time.
“We often hear the wishes offer them a time to relax, a time to come together as a family, to remember what it’s like to have fun, to not think about doctor’s appointments,” Amber Benders with the Make a Wish foundation said. “[They can] just focus on each other and being a family.”
Through it all, her father said their daughter has handled it all with resilience well beyond her years.
“She’s so strong, she makes it easy for us,” Her father David Stevens said. “She goes day-by-day and takes it.
“When she initially found out she had cancer she cried for about four to five minutes, and said ‘Ok, what’s next?’”
With files from Laura Tupper