Community

Friends help five-year-old Maple Ridge girl fight leukemia

Clara Howorth was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February. - Contributed
Clara Howorth was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February.
— image credit: Contributed

A courageous five-year-old girl fighting to beat cancer will get a little help thanks to her friends at My Gym Fitness Centre for Children.

A fundraiser to support Clara Howorth will be held at the fitness centre, located at 20644 Dewdney Trunk Road, Sunday, June 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Families can sign up for $5, and there will be songs, games, a charity barbeque and 50/50 raffle.

All the proceeds of the event will support Clara, 5, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February.

Andrea Howorth, Clara’s mother, said the family was devastated when given the diagnosis. She said what they were first told was a case strep throat quickly became a life-altering event. Emotions quickly shifted to resolve, she added, as they set out win Clara’s fight against cancer.

“She’s quite brave,” said Andrea, who noted that Clara is four months into a two-and-a-half-year round of chemotherapy. “She’s had some side-effects from her recent treatment, but overall she’s responding really well.”

Clara’s cancer is in remission at the moment. But even when the first two-plus years of extensive treatment is complete, she will need regular treatment and follow-ups until she reaches 18, said her mom.

For now, Andrea, her husband Nick, and Clara’s three-year-old brother Brennan are taking it a day at a time, thanks in large part to the overwhelming support from the community.

Coming off a garage sale last weekend that raised more than $3,500 for Clara, the family will be the focus at My Gym, thanks to owner Tanya Ardron and her staff.

“Andrea was one of the first families to join our gym three years ago. Over that time they’ve come to be like family to us. We are incredibly humbled to be able to help them,” said Ardron.

“We’re more than happy to help out.”

Howorth is just as quick to reciprocate their appreciation.

“Tanya and her staff have gone above and beyond to put smiles on our faces and we can’t thank them enough,” said Howorth.

Ardron said more than 50 families have already pre-registered for the event, and expects more to drop in Sunday. Save-On-Foods has donated to the barbeque, and inquiries for donations continue to come in.

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