Bri­anna the Brave

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By CHLOE WIN­TER

Thou­sands of dol­lars have been raised for a Whitby fam­ily who feared they would lose their home as their daugh­ter bat­tled can­cer.

Ber­nadette and Johnny Huy­nen are for­ever grate­ful to the com­mu­nity for the $20,000 raised so their daugh­ter, Bri­anna, 3, can re­cover in her own home.

As Kapi-Mana News re­ported last June, the fam­ily faced los­ing their house while Bri­anna was un­der­go­ing treat­ment.

Mrs Huy­nen re­signed from her job shortly af­ter Bri­anna was di­ag­nosed with a con­gen­i­tal Wilms’ tu­mour last April and Mr Huy­nen’s in­come wasn’t enough to cover their fi­nan­cial pres­sures. Mrs Huy­nen said with­out the com­mu­nity’s con­tin­u­ing sup­port and do­na­tions they would never have been able to make their mort­gage re­pay­ments.

‘‘The com­mu­nity’s just been in­cred­i­ble and we are just so thank­ful for ev­ery­thing peo­ple have done for us.’’

Mrs Huy­nen is plan­ning to start an at-home busi­ness to sup­ple­ment their in­come.

‘‘We are not out of the [fi­nan­cial] woods,’’ she said.

A Wilms’ tu­mour at­taches it­self to a kid­ney and can go un­no­ticed for some time. It was Bri­anna’s day­care teach­ers at Mana Early Learn­ing Cen­tre who first no­ticed the tu­mour on her stom­ach.

Mrs Huy­nen says she is glad Bri­anna has now had the ‘‘all­clear’’ but there is al­ways that small risk of it re­turn­ing.

‘‘With this disease it’s so hideous and so in­tel­li­gent you just don’t know.’’

Be­cause of Bri­anna’s low im­mu­nity, she only re­turned to day­care last month, 10 months to the day she was di­ag­nosed.

‘‘She’s really en­joy­ing be­ing back . . . she’s thriv­ing in it.’’

Mrs Huy­nen said Bri­anna is a brave lit­tle su­per­star.

Mrs Huy­nen says Bri­anna is ‘‘nowhere near’’ the same kid she was be­fore but her con­fi­dence is grow­ing ev­ery day.

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