“My name is Saila, and I am an athlete at Cheer Sport Sharks in Ottawa. My family and I have fought through the cancer world for awhile now, and I would like to share our story.
This story begins at the end of August 2016, where a suspicious lump was found on the left side of my Mom’s breast. Calls were delivered and appointments were made within the day of discovery. I remember vividly sitting in exam room #5 of our local medical centre, with a pit in my stomach. I just knew something was off and that feeling is something I’ll never forget. Barely a week later we were sent to the Women’s Breast Health Centre, while I sat in a waiting room and mindlessly double-tapped a plethora of instagram photos, not allowed to be let into the examination and procedure rooms. Hours passed before my Mom came from behind the mazes of beige walls, I felt like at that point, we both knew even though it wasn’t confirmed. But, I had a feeling.
Officially, her invasive stage 2 breast cancer was confirmed a week before I began the eighth grade. I helped her cut off her 12” pony tail and we started a long process of surgeries to remove the 10 tumours (with still more to come), intensive chemotherapy, and 30 radiation sessions followed. Every grey cloud has a silver lining, as through this rough patch, we discovered baldness can be better with glitter, the sound of the chemo and radiation bell ringing is wonderful. We had bouquets and supporting gifts coming to the house biweekly, and one even for myself – in which I was led to discover the world of all-star-cheer!
When I’m competing in a few weeks from now, I will think of the strength my family held, the care others gave, and the love from all!