Armin is not your typical 12-year-old. He speaks four languages at home: English, French, Bosnian and Arabic. He also has a passion for learning and was recently accepted into a specialized robotics program at a new school. Armin and his family have an abundance of gratitude for reaching a truly magical moment: cancer-free thanks to life-saving care at CHEO.
In July 2020, after a fever lasting for several nights and attending a COVID clinic to rule out coronavirus, Armin and his mother, Fajka, went to CHEO’s emergency department.
Following a full panel of blood tests and an ultrasound, Fajka was taken to another room and told that her son had cancer.
A biopsy and further investigation brought in the official diagnosis: Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare and fast-growing form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The ultrasound revealed a tumour in Armin’s abdomen and the CHEO oncology team mobilized. With an inoperable tumour located within his intestine, chemotherapy was the only treatment option. Armin was prescribed a regimen of five cycles of chemotherapy that was later revised to six.
The fourth cycle of his chemotherapy was tough. “I was so sick,” Armin recalls, nodding his head slowly. “I had a fever and remember that I felt really terrible.”
Armin was able to distract himself throughout his treatment by anchoring himself to school. He attended online classes with his peers and his missed classes were supplemented by teachers at CHEO.
On December 18, 2020, Armin rang the bell to signal the end of his treatment. Today, he’s busy focusing on school and sports. Armin’s dream is to travel the world and own a fancy car!
Providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time for children like Armin requires highly trained and compassionate health-care professionals, precise diagnoses, effective treatment and care, and ensuring families are seen, heard, and empowered. Thank you to our generous donors who make this possible by supporting the CHEO Foundation.