For seven-year-old Shyanne Osmond, life hasn’t always been easy. Last year, she was diagnosed with AVM – Arteriovenous malformation – a rare condition that causes an abnormal connection of blood between her veins and arteries, creating a tumour on her upper lip.
Since relocating to Burlington Ontario, to get treatment at Toronto Sick Kids, Shyanne has endured a total of six surgeries, but the tumour isn’t subsiding.
“The tumour is extremely aggressive. Within two months, the tumour is back,” said Amber Osmond, Shyanne’s mom. “We are going to go to an oncologist and start getting cancer treatments to try to slow the growth down, plus the surgery, so it hasn’t been good, but it’s not bad.”
The family moved to the Toronto area because it is the only place in Canada that has the medical assistance they need to combat the condition. Throughout all of it, Amber Osmond says that her little girl is still smiling and maintains a happy disposition.
“She’s the happiest little girl ever. Nothing brings her down. She knows with the cancer treatments that she might lose her hair. I said to her ‘Would you like mom to shave her head if that happens so you’re not the only one?’ She laughs at me. She said, ‘Oh no mom, just get me a wig’,” Osmond said.
Osmond continued by saying that Shyanne refuses most of her pain medication after surgeries, not even taking Tylenol.
Osmond is originally from Fernie, and her eldest son is still here, living with her dad while attending school. At this point, the Osmonds don’t think they will ever be able to comfortably return to Fernie.
“They told us she would be battling this the rest of her life. When she turns 18 years old, they will be transferring her to the AVM clinic for adults in Toronto. Always get treatments, always get surgeries – non stop,” said Osmond.
In January of this year, the community rallied to raise funds for Shyanne’s medical bills. The Smiles for Shyanne fundraiser held on Jan. 24, consisted of a spaghetti dinner and fundraising event, raising a total of $27,135, exceeding all expectations that organizers had. The community support has meant a lot to the Osmonds as they continue to battle the rare condition. Amber Osmond thanked the community and everyone involved.
“Thank you. Each and every one of them, from the people we don’t know to the people we know, all of them. The prayers, the love the support we get from people,” she said. Osmond specifically wanted to thank Stephanie Rogers, who was instrumental in setting up the Smiles for Shyanne Facebook page, which brings in messages of support from all over the world. “I was talking to a lady yesterday from Paris who is looking for treatments and asking how Shyanne’s is going,” said Osmond.
Donations can still be made to Shyanne’s medical bills through her GoFundMe account, and the Smiles for Shyanne Facebook page has updates on her progress.