The bond between siblings is the strongest there is. Having a brother or sister means having a friend for life.
Meagan and Laurence Collard, a couple from Western Australia, lived a picture perfect life with their two sons, Franklin and Cayden. However, they always wanted to have a girl and the boys wanted a little sister so when Meagan learned she was pregnant with daughter the entire family was over the moon.
Everyone was in anticipation of meeting the newest addition to the family so when Piper Winifred was welcomed into the world it was the happiest moment in their life.
Baby Piper reached every milestone when she was supposed to, and everything seemed fine with her until she started vomiting one day. Her parents took her to a gastroenterologist and when the little one started experiencing fever, Meagan and Laurence consulted a GP. The girl was diagnosed with an ear infection and was prescribed medication.
Unfortunately, around a month later, Piper went through another similar episode. This time, however, Meagan got extremely concerned because she discovered a hard lump on Piper’s stomach.
This raise a red flag and the girl was again taken to hospital. The blood results indicated HIV, hepatitis or cancer. Hearing this, Meagan got extremely scared because she was somewhat certain her daughter couldn’t possibly have HIV or hepatitis because she was tested for those while pregnant. While they waited for further tests to be done, they prayed Piper didn’t have cancer. Sadly, the news were heartbreaking. Piper had neuroblastoma, a form of cancer commonly found in infants.
At that point, Piper’s cancer had spread from her adrenal glands, to the liver, lymph nodes, abdomen, chest cavity, and ovaries.
The family was aware things wouldn’t be easy, but they were determined to fight for their daughter’s life.
At the age of 11 months, Piper went through five sessions of chemo, a stem transplant surgery, radiation and immunotherapy. Al these procedures were painful and tiring, but Piper started feeling better and it looked like it was all worth it.
Piper was home for Christmas and it seemed like things started to fall into place, but this family’s happiness was short lived.
Their worst fear came true. The cancer was back, and it spread even further than before.
In an attempt to save Piper’s life, her parents tried to place her in an overseas medical trial but they were turned down because the function of her liver was low.
Instead, Piper underwent more chemo sessions in hopes of getting her liver to function a bit better so that they could apply for the trial again. Sadly, after the fourth day of chemo, Piper’s health deteriorated.
On June 17, Meagan and Laurence were told there was nothing that could be done for Piper and told them to take her home. The parents were aware she was living the last days of her life but didn’t know how to tell that to Piper’s brothers.
On June 20, Piper seemed happy and cheerful. She gathered strength to play with her big brothers, but later that day, she started vomiting blood. Meagan called the home nurse, but the only thing she could do was give the little one pain relief meds.
That night, Piper passed away and left her family heartbroken and mourning her loss.
On the day of Piper Winifred’s funeral, her 5-year-old brother Cayden carried her casket. He wanted to hold his little sister for one final time. It was his was of saying goodbye. The sight was heartbreaking and touching at the same time. It showed the love this boy had for his sister and reminded everyone who witnessed the scene that the bond between siblings is unbreakable.
In honor of their little girl who touched their lives forever, her parents shared her story through a Facebook page dedicated to Piper’s fight which aims at raising awareness about neuroblastoma.
Rest in peace, Piper, you are missed and loved.
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