This Mother’s Day is going to be extra special for Nykia Simon, who gets to hold her little girl in her arms, knowing the child is cancer-free.
On April 27, Chloe Dietrich celebrated her third birthday with her family and friends.
Dressed in pink, with a My Little Pony and unicorn theme, a rainbow birthday cake and all the trimmings, Chloe also passed the two-year mark since her final cancer treatments.
“Our way of thinking has changed since Chloe was diagnosed,” said Nykia.
“The woman and mother I am today all came from the strength that Chloe had during her treatment. Nothing gets to me. Every day is a blessing and watching my kids grow is truly the ultimate prize.”
The Langley toddler is in remission and enjoying life after a scary battle with cancer when she was just a baby. Chloe’s cancer reader counts are down to six now, said her mom. When she had her tumour, they were reading at a 475,000 count.
Two years ago this month, then nine-month-old Chloe was undergoing chemotherapy for liver cancer. She had an an eight-hour surgery to remove a golf ball sized tumor from her liver. Doctors managed to remove it and save 25 per cent of the organ.
After the surgery, there were complications, including infection, and Chloe needed plasma. Chloe’s parents, Simon and Mike Dietrich, were by their daughter’s side the whole time. Chloe’s older brother Cassius was also a big support.
At the time, a family friend held a pub night fundraiser in support of the Langley parents. The event raised $7,000 to help them during a time when they had no income.
“Chloe is proof that a community can come together in a time of need,” said Simon, adding friends and family were their “backbone.”
Simon is grateful for the community’s care. Starbucks held her job for her for until she was ready to go back to work and then let her relocate to a shop closer to home.
While Chloe was in hospital, and during her one of her darkest days, the Canucks came through the oncology unit.
It was such a memorable moment, said Simon. Nykia had always dreamed of working for the Canucks, so after Chloe got better, she applied and now has a job with the organization as well.
Chloe still sees her oncologist every three months for blood work, X-rays and ultrasound.
“As any parent of a child who has gone through treatment would know, these scans are still so nerve-racking,” said Simon.
But Chloe’s beautiful smile and joy for life keeps them positive and looking forward to many more Mother’s Days and birthdays to come.
Joined by her brother Cassius, left, her mom, Nykia Simon, and dad, Mike Dietrich, on April 30 Chloe Dietrich celebrated her third birthday and two years of being cancer-free.