Little girls are supposed to play dress up. For little Zoë, 6, dress up includes wearing masks to protect her from germs most days. Zoë was born with Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome.
By the age of six months Zoë underwent two open-heart operations but her heart needed more. She had a heart transplant at the Hospital for Sick Children in 2003.
Zoë thrived. Her smiles and giggles lit up every room.
Last year Zoë started getting sick. She spent weeks at a time at Sick Kids while the doctors looked to find out what was wrong. In November 2009 the answer came-T-Cell Lymphoma, a complication that can occur with a transplant. Zoë has been undergoing chemotherapy to battle the beast.
This March Zoë needed gastric by-pass surgery when an an upper GI problem with her duodenum was discovered. She is recovering from that surgery now.
Because of the heart transplant having a stem cell transplant is more difficult. The results from donor transplants have not been good. The goal is for chemo to remove all of the bad cells making it possible to harvest Zoë's own cells for a transplant.
The one thing that has never left Zoë is her smile and infectious giggle. She lives her life full throttle regardless if she is at home or in a bed at Sick Kids.
Sick Kids is a home away from home for Zoë. She can be seen playing Guitar Hero in Marnie's Lounge whenever she is well enough to be out of her room. Her love for the game inspired a Facebook page Zoë is a Rockstar.
This year Rainbow Expressions is hosting ‘Zoë is a Rockstar’ a fundraiser night to raise money in Zoë’s name for the Oncology Department at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. The goal is to bring in $25,000. When that goal is realized Zoë's name will be engraved on the wall at Sick Kids. All donations will go to the oncology department in Zoë's name. So far there has been over $7,800 raised.
On Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 7:30pm at Jersey's Bar and Grill, 1450 Headon Road, Burlington a fund raiser will be held. Tickets are limited, the event is almost sold out. The $40 event includes a silent auction, raffle prizes and games along with live music featuring Legend.
Zoë's aunt Linda is behind the fundraiser.
"The fund raiser is mostly for Sick Kids. They have been so helpful for us and really behind Zoë every step of the way. We also want to raise enough to get Zoë's name on that wall."
Aunt Linda has been behind the scenes as Zoë fights her battle, watching with a hopeful heart. Last week was a rough one for Zoë as a lung infection threatened the child's life. Linda said that even her doctors said that Zoe is a miracle, always pulling through at the last minute with a smile on her face.
If Zoë is able to finish her treatments by October the family will be going to Disney. Linda laughed saying her young niece told her she would be going too.
Linda said that the ticket sales have been amazing for the fund raiser. They are still accepting items for the silent auction and of course straight out donations.