News / Ottawa

Concert to raise funds for four-year-old battling rare cancer

A four-year-old girl fighting a rare form of cancer will have a benefit concert in her name on Saturday.

Phoebe Rose Doull-Hoffman was diagnosed with high-risk Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at just nine weeks old on Oct. 26, 2010.

Her family has been travelling to Memphis, Tenn. for special treatments. Her mother, Jenny Doull-Hoffman, records the emotional journey in her blog. Recently, her daughter has battled a stroke, brain swelling and a fungal infection.

"The neurologist was talking about Phoebe's brain and the changes that they see and then he said, "God willing if she survives this, she may have some cognitive impairment", she wrote on Nov. 7. "I was at a loss for words. I often struggle with how to write in a way that truly tells of the fear we experience each day or the odds that we are up against, so I am sharing his words because they are clear.

"This is our reality. This is the fear and desperation and soul crushing uncertainty that we live with each day."

Pauline van der Roest is organizing the concert benefit. Her son goes to school with Phoebe's older sister Mae. She describes the four-year-old as a "very feisty, tough little fighter girl."

“She’s just a beautiful human being," she said.

A classical benefit concert for the family will be held at McKay United Church, at 39 Dufferin Rd., on Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. Admission is $10 and all proceeds will go to the Doull-Hoffman family.

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