April 10, 2017
Cassandra's sister donated bone marrow to help save her life
Cassandra and Abby Leveille have a special connection. Just 19 months apart, the sisters have always been close. Whether playing games or trying on makeup together, they’re always there to lend each other a hand.
Recently, their connection deepened in a big way. Abby helped save Cassandra’s life.
Since October 2015, Cassandra, 17, has been battling AML leukemia. She completed chemotherapy treatment last year, only to relapse in January 2017. Doctors determined Cassandra would require a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, Abby, 16, was a perfect match.
“Abby is petrified of needles, but of course it was a no-brainer,” says their mom, Nancy. “It was special for both of them that Abby could help her sister when she needed her.”
In March, the Leveille family came to Toronto for the transplant, five hours south of their home in New Liskeard, Ont. Knowing they could be in Toronto for several months, they are happy to find a “home away from home” at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto.
“This place is amazing,” says Nancy. “You don’t realize everything it has to offer until you have no choice.”
The bone marrow transplant went well and both sisters are recovering. Doctors are hopeful that Cassandra will be released from the hospital in the coming weeks and can continue her recovery at RMHC Toronto with her family.
“We’re so fortunate to have a place like this to keep us together,” says Nancy. “I know that us being here to support Cassandra helps her tremendously.”
Though she has a few milestones to reach before heading home, Cassandra is hopeful for the bright future that awaits her.
“She’s very positive and always has been,” says Nancy. “She wants to return to school, go to college and be out in the world experiencing life again.”
Experiencing life, as always, with her sister by her side.