Six-year old 'fighter' faces cancer

Eric Sparling
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Fundraiser to offset costs of illness planned for June

Six-year-old Darcy Bogdanova strikes a pose while her four-year-old sister Lily strikes up a conversation. Their parents, Bobby and Diana Bogdanova, joined the girls outside the CKDH radio station yesterday after an interview. 

AMHERST – Darcy Bogdanova’s voice is bright and articulate on the phone.

“Well, it’s OK, because cancer never asks you if you want it or not.”

Life has changed for a six-year old Grade 1 student at West Highland’s Elementary School. About a month ago, Darcy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“Sometimes I’m scared, sometimes I’m worried…,” she said.

Most of the time she’s happy, though. When she’s in the hospital, one of the bright spots is doing art with an employee there, as well as her little sister.

“I like to draw and colour and make butterflies.”

She’s undergone surgery at the IWK in Halifax, and had the first of four initial courses of chemotherapy.

Her father, Bobby, is composed and clear. He apologized for his accented English – he moved here with his wife a decade ago – but he shouldn’t: his words are strong and evoke emotion. He called his little girl incredible.

“She’s a fighter…it’s very hard,” he said.

Hard for her and hard for the parents.

“We’re just trying to establish a new normal.”

The father talked about the experience of seeing photos taken just last month – mere weeks ago – before life changed so dramatically.

“The waiting is the hardest part,” said the man, a beekeeper by trade.

The surgery couldn’t remove all of what the father called a large tumour. So now the family stays in Halifax for a week of chemo, then goes home for two weeks respite. They’ll repeat that cycle three more times and then doctors will assess the next step.

“There is hope,” said the father.

He said he didn’t even want to think about the treatment not working.

Darcy is home right now. She’s feeling better than she did before the surgery, according to her dad. He talked about her being upbeat and optimistic, and about the friends she’s made at the hospital.

“She’s very positive,” he said.

It’s been very stressful, he said. Darcy is old enough to read her parents’ emotions – old enough to be concerned for the adults in her life, according to her father. He talked about the stages of grief and said he’s accepted where his family and daughter are now. Again he mentioned the photographs taken before the diagnosis.

“How life can change…how easy it is.”

He wants people to pray for Darcy. A fundraiser is being held for the family June 10 at Spring Street Academy, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Grade 1 student couldn’t visit relatives in Bulgaria this May. The family trip was cancelled.

“I always cook with my grandma,” said the girl.

Her grandmother has, instead, come to visit her, and will stay for the summer to help the family. Seeing cousins and an aunt in Europe will have to wait, though.

“Probably next year or when I feel much better,” said Darcy.

esparling@amherstdaily.com

Twitter: @ADNsparling

 

SIDEBAR: Fundraiser

A Zumbathon to benefit Darcy and her family has been organized by a West Highland Staffer, Angela Muise. The dance event, which will also feature a silent auction and bake sale, will take place June 10 at Spring Street Academy (which has more space than West Highlands) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Muise said Darcy loves Zumba, which the youngster comfirmed: “(Muise is) my Zumba teacher at school…I’m really excited.”

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Recent comments

  • Ron
    May 22, 2013 - 13:38

    RE: Debbie. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure others will find it positive and motivating as I have. I pray for Darcy's recovery as a parent of two young boys myself.

  • Angela muise
    May 22, 2013 - 12:08

    Hi Kay.....you can contact West Highlands School at 661 2410

  • Angela Muise
    May 22, 2013 - 11:05

    Kay....you can contact me at West Highlands School 661 2410 =-)

  • Kay
    May 22, 2013 - 08:26

    A heartrending diagnosis for this family, but the love and support of the community (and the great medical care available today) will keep them going. Wishing them the very best! Where can a donation from out of province be sent?

  • Debbie
    May 22, 2013 - 07:53

    I pray for you daughter! I just want to let you know that there is hope out there for her to live a long and healthy, normal life! I too suffered from ovarian cancer and they removed it ovary and started treatment shortly after my first birthday. I was told that I would not have children, and I have 3 beautiful boys and I have been in remission for almost 30 years. Although it seems like a mile away, keep positive thoughts, and remember that the IWK is the BEST hospital out there!

    • Kay
      May 22, 2013 - 17:36

      Thank you, Angela, I will do that. And a special thank you to Debbie - your experience is a great testament to the possibilities after such a diagnosis. Sending prayers to Darcy and her family.........