October 24, 2015
Meet Izaih Whalen and His Family from Pilley’s Island
In 2010, at the young age of three, Izaih Whalen was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He went through rigorous rounds of chemotherapy, requiring blood and platelet transfusions. Izaih’s family found it very expensive and stressful to relocate St. John’s, more than 500 kilometers from home, with no place to stay.
In December 2013, Izaih took his last chemotherapy treatment, or at least, that’s what his family thought. Fourteen months later, during a routine checkup, they were told his cancer had relapsed and that they must relocate to St. John’s once again.
Izaih’s mom was scared for many reasons; that their family would again be torn apart; at the thought of the financial burdens; but most of all, by the realization that she could not make Izaih’s cancer go away.
“Thankfully, unlike Izaih’s first experience with cancer treatments, the new Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s was open and available to us to live, learn, and heal together. It was a place for our family to be together to help Izaih fight this cancer”, said Izaih’s mom, Amanda Payne.
Often Izaih’s Dad, Poppy and little brother, Spencer, would visit Amanda, Izaih and his Nanny at Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House had truly become their home-away-from-home.
“Ronald McDonald House is a place where our family could be together; a place where I could make late night lunches with new friends going through the same struggles, but most importantly, it is a place where our family could fight this cancer together. I know how stressful it is to be away from home; therefore, we are so grateful to those who support Ronald McDonald House”, added Amanda.