Liane Forrester was born on July 4, 1988. She passed away February 12, 2003 after a short 5-month battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (what is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?). She was a grade nine student (age 14) at Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate in Toronto.
In September 2002, she came home from school after cheerleader practice with a temperature of 102ºF. After being home for two weeks with the “flu” she was hospitalized due to a high calcium count / renal failure. 36 hours later she was transferred to the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC). After a week of tests, including CT scans, bone marrow biopsies, bone scans and MRI, we were told that the high calcium count was caused by extensive bone lesions. A week later we were told she had large cell, T-cell anaplastic lymphoma. Initial prognosis for treatment and cure was positive. Liane started chemotherapy as an outpatient in clinic, which allowed her to come home. She even managed a brief return to school in November. Unfortunately, the good news did not last long. Liane was hospitalized for most of December....home for Christmas....back in hospital for New Years.
The initial chemotherapy failed, and a new therapy began in January. Late in the month, she had trouble breathing and went into the Intensive Care Unit, where she was intubated to assist her breathing. As the lymphoma progressed, she suffered internal hemorraghing and organ failure. Despite all the efforts of a sympathetic and hard-working medical staff, Liane never recovered full consciousness, and slipped away quietly in the night.
Ironically, Liane had already survived one brush with death. At her birth, Liane contracted strep-B pneumonia and was given only a 50 / 50 chance to survive. But she was a fighter (all 8.5 lbs of her!) and made it through. For the first six years of life, she was monitored by HSC for low IGA, but aside from normal childhood ailments, she was a healthy and energetic child.
And boy was she energetic! Mom and dad enrolled her in ballet when she was 4 years old to channel her energy. For 10 years, Liane studied classical ballet, jazz, modern and tap at PSB Dance Academy in Toronto, She loved to swim, went to summer camp every year and loved entertaining her friends. She was popular with peers and parents alike for her outgoing personality and crazy sense of humour.
She was always smiling, always happy, always upbeat. She lived every moment to the fullest. Her positive influence on her friends has left a legacy of memories. Family, teachers, friends, and even casual acquaintances in our neighbourhood miss her love and enthusiasm for life.