“They make it fun. There’s games, colouring activities, video games and movies – one time the Canucks came and one time the BC Lions came!” says eight-year old gastroenterology patient Tarran Parmar about the Chieng Family MDU. Tarren has Crohn’s disease and requires medication infusions there about once a month to stay as healthy as possible.
Tarren is an energetic boy who loves to play guitar, sports and clown around. His mom, Harinder, says he’s a cross between Curious George and Dennis the Menace. “He’s always on the move, and always curious,” she says. Tarren’s antics don’t stop in the Chieng Family MDU, where Harinder reveals his favourite gag: he rings for the nurse and then hides under the bed!
Tarren was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at six years old, after years of hospital visits and no explanation for the blood found in his stool. In his first two years of life, Tarren experienced numerous ear infections, taking antibiotics to combat them until, one day, the medication no longer worked. Thankfully, a second round of antibiotics cleared up the infection. But the infections may have been a sign of the more sinister illness – Crohn’s.
Once diagnosed, the Parmars went through a long and exasperating process of trying different medications until the right balance was found to control Tarren’s symptoms. Today, Tarren’s Crohn’s is well managed. The half days he spends getting infusions in the Chieng Family MDU are to provide intravenous medication that suppress his immune system and prevent flare-ups of the disease. Thanks to the care he receives at BC Children’s Hospital, Tarren is in remission and healthy.
Despite his love of joking around, Tarren is serious about his studies. He doesn’t like to miss school. The Chieng Family MDU prevents him from having to be admitted to the hospital for his monthly treatments. He only misses of school and then returns back to his classes, friends and family.