Belleville family looks to community for support
Childhood cancer patient and severely ill mom about to lose their home
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2021
By MICHELLE DOREY FORESTELL,The Belleville Local
A Belleville family has faced more than their share of life-threatening health problems and now they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
Ongoing blood transfusions and upcoming heart and abdominal surgeries are going to make going to work impossible. That would seem like enough challenge for any family to face, but for Tina Sedore, it is just one more struggle.
Her six-year-old son Lincoln was diagnosed with a cancerous astrocytoma brain tumour as a toddler and has been fighting it ever since.
And on top of everything, Sedore and her partner have recently learned that their landlord is going to sell the home they rent. They have until the end of June either to purchase the home or move on to another one.
“We have Lincoln who is six and our daughter Faith who is eight, and our older daughter Caitlin, who’s 18. And then we have an older son who is 22 that doesn’t live at home So, big family,” said Sedore.
“Little Lincoln, he was diagnosed at one with brain cancer, a tumour,” said Sedore, “and he had a major nine-hour surgery right after he was diagnosed. Shortly after surgery, the tumour started growing.”
Unfortunately, the chemotherapy only slowed the tumour’s growth for a few months.
Lincoln’s treatment team then “tried him on a trial drug that damaged his liver, so we had to go off that,” she explained, “And during that time, it grew so big he had to go in for another major surgery.”
Trial drugs caused damage to Lincoln’s liver, and while doctors waited for his liver to regenerate, the tumour began to grow rapidly, culminating in a 7.5 hour surgery. Surgeons were able to remove 80 per cent of the tumour, and a combination of chemo followed for 68 weeks of treatment which made Lincoln violently ill. Chemo treatment was finally completed in September 2020.
With an MRI scheduled for today, April 22, Lincoln and his family are hopeful. But they have still no idea of the prognosis for Lincoln who has spent so much of his tiny life in and out of SickKids (The Hospital for Sick Children) in Toronto and Kingston General Hospital (KGH) for continuing treatments, MRI scans, and for maintenance on his permanent IV access site.
Lincoln’s tumour is near his brainstem and cannot be removed safely. As a result, Lincoln has been left unable to walk without aid and Sedore explained, “He can’t talk but he uses sign language, and he can’t eat and is fed with an NG tube.”
Sedore used to work as a PSW but, she said, “they fired me while I was on my leave of absence, taking care of Lincoln.”
So now husband and wife work for a cleaning company that cleans workplaces at night while oldest daughter Caitlin cares for her younger siblings. All of them are homeschooled.
“That’s the only way we could do things,” said Sedore, emphasizing the importance of the family not being around other people lest they bring home the deadly virus to her already immunocompromised child.
The pandemic has also cut into their already-stretched resources with the couple’s work hours being drastically reduced.
To give Lincoln, Tina, and their family the best chance of recovery, they will require massive financial help. Jamie has started a GoFundMe campaign to help their financial struggle, in either finding a house to rent or raising enough to put a down payment on the home they already occupy.
“We are really looking for a house that’s big enough for all of us. We really can’t do apartment buildings because Lincoln has a wheelchair,” explained Sedore.
Despite everything, Sedore’s empathy remains, “Renting is so hard. And it’s hard for everybody out there right now: for every house that’s available, there are 100 families trying to get it, right? It’s very, very hard out there for everyone.”
In the meantime, family friend, Theresa has begun a Meal Train campaign so the family won’t have to worry about cooking and finding groceries while Tina undergoes and recovers from surgery.