Samantha – also known as DJ Super Sam, is an aspiring young DJ who loves to sing, dance and create her own music. Thanks to her Stollerific oncology team, Samantha was able to beat cancer.
In March 2021, Sam was complaining of tummy pain. Her parents took her to the Stollery Emergency department where an ultrasound showed she may have Crohn’s disease. After a clear colonoscopy in May, she was scheduled to have a capsule endoscopy – or pill camera – at the end of June. After having another bout of tummy pain in June, an X-ray showed she had a bowel obstruction and needed emergency bowel surgery. On June 11, 15 cm of Sam’s bowel was removed, which included the area the doctors felt was Crohn’s. Unfortunately, five days later Sam’s family was told she had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a form of fast-spreading cancer that starts in immune cells. A PET-CT scan confirmed a stage three Burkitt’s Lymphoma diagnosis and a course of treatment was started.
Since this form of cancer moves so quickly, the chemotherapy treatment was extremely intense causing Sam to be quite sick throughout each round. After multiple inpatient and outpatient visits to the Stollery and four months of chemo, on October 19, 2021, Super Sam rang the bell and celebrated beating cancer. Sam will be followed closely by her oncology team for the next 10 years. While no family wants to be told their child has cancer, Sam’s family is grateful to have the most specialized children’s hospital in Western Canada to help them navigate this journey.