SCUGOG: Despite facing some difficult challenges early in their lives, young Olivia and Ryker Worr have been resilient.
Olivia was diagnosed with a tumor on her right ovary in May of 2014. She was three years old. Shortly after her successful battle, her brother Ryker was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.
“When he was running around with his sister, he wasn’t looking where he was going and he bumped his head and fell over. After that he just started walking funny, with his head to the side. We thought it was a concussion,” parent of the two children Peter Worr told The Standard.
The family brought him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Doctors could only remove 85 percent of the original tumor, and then Ryker went through chemotherapy.
“Last July, he went through radiation because he had a relapse. So he had to have another brain resection, and they were able to get everything this time. Then we started radiation for 31 days, and he went through that really well. He just had an MRI, and it shows that he is doing great,” parent Cheri Worr said. “We had a bit of a scare. There was a discolouration on his spine, and they weren’t sure what it was. So, he had to go for a CT scan last week, but it just turned out it was a side effect of the radiation, and he has a clean bill of health. It was the first summer in five years that we actually can breathe.”
Olivia is currently nine years-old and Ryker is six years-old.
“Knock on wood, [Ryker’s] done with treatment. Olivia just finished her five year cancer free, and Ryker is a year since the relapse,” Cheri Worr explained.
Mr. Worr called the recent results a “huge relief.”
“Olivia’s just always been doing great. She’s advanced to the one year MRIs [at Sick Kids], Ryker’s still at three months just because of his rarety, but it’s been really good. We haven’t noticed any side effects,” he said.
Cheri Worr is also encouraged by the recent results.
“[Ryker’s] really defied all the odds, which is amazing,” she said. “Sick Kids is really happy.”
She described what Ryker is like as a person.
“He’s stubborn, he’s strong, he’s happy. He has a lot of empathy,” she said. “He’s really in tune with my emotions. He’s the first one to come give me a hug, tell me everything will be ok.”
Though she sees similarities in the way Olivia has handled everything.
“She’s been doing really well. She’s the first one to tell me she beat cancer and her brother will do it too. She’s definitely one of my rocks for sure. She’s a pretty amazing little girl,” she said.
The Worr family is thankful for the support they’ve received from the community.
“Port Perry and the surrounding area have been amazing. Everybody still keeps in touch, and calls us, comes over for a visit and asks us how things are going,” Mr. Worr said.
Cheri Worr said a combination of things have helped her get through the hard times.
“Family and friends, a lot of prayer. I’m still struggling. It’s one of those things whereas a parent, you never stop worrying about your kids. This is just an added worry that I think about every day. It’s something that we as a family need to learn to cope with. Cancer’s taken a lot from us already, we don’t want it to rob us of the present,” she said.