Mira is Ragne Reid’s first child. Despite being a new mother and told by others not to worry about Mira not sitting up when she was eight months old, Ragne was concerned. Then Mira got sick, became lethargic and started vomiting.
Eventually, in March 2010, Mira was transferred to BC Children’s Hospital and after a night of tests, doctors confirmed that she had medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. Doctors found five tumours, the largest of which was causing Mira’s brain to fill up with fluid. She needed immediate surgery to save her life.
Soon after, Mira began two month-long rounds of chemotherapy, which didn’t work as doctors had hoped – the large tumour had changed shape, but had not shrunk. At that point doctors told Ragne that Mira’s treatment options were limited and that the family should start preparing for palliative and comfort care.
Ragne was devastated by this news and she contacted cancer facilities around the world with Mira’s MRI, only to hear more bad news: all the centres confirmed the same diagnosis.
But several days later, back at BC Children’s, the neurosurgeon who performed Mira’s initial surgery told the family it might be possible to remove the tumour because of the way it had changed shape – it had pulled away from the brain stem – and the nine-hour surgery was a success. With the largest tumour gone, Mira began chemotherapy again.
Subsequent scans showed Mira’s tumours getting smaller and smaller, until eventually only one tumour remained. After a second surgery to remove the last tumour and two more rounds of chemo, Mira was, for the first time in her life, cancer-free. She underwent a stem cell transplant at the end of November and was home for Christmas.
Today Mira is a healthy and bright little girl who is now in school. She has slight hearing loss and some eye damage as a result of her intense treatments, but she shows none of the developmental or physical challenges that her family had feared.
Ragne is forever grateful for the care that Mira and her family received at Children’s. “There is no place in the world where we could have got the kind of treatment we received at BC Children’s Hospital, as I did the research. We are so lucky to have this in our community!”
Mira’s younger brother, Jax, was born shortly after Mira finished treatment, and he has been by her side ever since.