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Mother hopes cross-Canada trip will help daughter, 23, hit with brain cancer


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Both mother and daughter are current/ex-serving members, the mom RegF and the daughter PRes.

Just sharing.

Mother hopes cross-Canada trip will help daughter, 23, hit with brain cancer

Craig Pearson
Jul 28, 2014 - 4:09 PM EDT
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2014 - 9:05 PM EDT

A Windsor woman who had dreamed of racing around the world now simply wants to make it across the country to bring her 23-year-old daughter home to battle brain cancer.

Robyn Young, 23, underwent surgery June 13 in Victoria to remove a toonie-sized tumor from her brain. She will soon start radiation treatment.

Her mother Pearl Osmond has already depleted her bank account travelling back and forth to B.C., but feels her daughter will fare better with more family support in Windsor and Chatham, where she was born.

“It’s the worst thing a person can go through,” said Osmond, growing emotional as she talked about hearing that her daughter was diagnosed with a Grade 3 or 4 brain tumor. “You can’t imagine having to deal with this.

“The hardest part is I can’t be there. I’m not there to face the doctors, to be her advocate.”

Osmond, an Afghanistan war veteran and former longtime Canadian Forces operations officer, said the bad news was all the more shocking given the high fitness level of her daughter — a naval reservist since 2007 .

Now their journey is more serious. Osmond said Young does not have a benefits or drug package as a reservist and has to pay for some medication out of pocket.

“She has been paying for it with support from her family and friends but it’s going to become very expensive soon,” Osmond said. “It’s really hard. But once I get her back to Ontario it will be easier because she has a lot of family here.

“I feel like I’m stuck and I can’t help her.”

Young said the brain tumor literally knocked her out when it struck.

She had been feeling nausea here and there for a few weeks but did not think much of it since she is prone to stomach issues. The day she realized something was wrong, she had gone for an annual hour-long fitness test as a reservist: dragging, carrying, jogging.

All seemed good so she went home. Then in the afternoon came the onslaught.

“I was throwing up and passing out on the bathroom floor,” she said. “But I managed to call an ambulance.”

She was rushed to hospital and though doctors originally suspected dehydration, they soon saw an unmistakable CT scan. Two days later she underwent brain surgery, where 98 per cent of the tumor was removed.

“I was pretty scared,” she recalled about the news. “It came on pretty quickly.”

Young is still awaiting word from a specialist’s report on her exact condition. She lives with her boyfriend in Victoria, where she had planned to start studying nursing in September.

But academic plans are on hold. She now hopes to move to Ontario with her boyfriend to be near family, including her father Robert Young who lives in Chatham.

“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” said Young, who is remaining positive and feels better than she did a few weeks ago.

A fundraising site has been created at gofundme.com/c2t41k. For more information contact Pearl Osmond at 519-563-8752.