An eight-year-old girl from Beaumont, Alta. is in the fight of her life after doctors found an inoperable tumour in her brain.
Janaya Chekowski-McKenzie loves Pokemon, dinosaurs and YouTube. Looking at her, you’d never know she was sick.
But on Jan. 31, she went to the hospital with a bad headache. The next day, doctors sat Janaya’s mom down with bad news.
“There’s a little something in the back of my head,” Janaya said. “We call it the brain booger.”
It was a tumour. Janaya’s mother, Amanda Crow, was stunned.
“There isn’t really words for it. It was hard. It was sad,” she said.
Despite the diagnosis, Janaya is taking it all in stride.
“So I have brain cancer, and I’m trying to fight it,” Janaya said.
She explained that there’s not just one emotion she feels when she thinks about her cancer, but a whole bunch at the same time. It’s overwhelming.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m going to shut down or something, but anyways, I’m fine.”
It’s tough for her mom to watch.
“Why can’t I be the one going through that? Why does she have to go through that? Why can’t I carry that burden for her?” Crow said.
Janaya is showing some symptoms of her illness. For example, she can’t do too much physical activity.
“My heart beats fast and sometimes my body parts start shaking uncontrollably,” Janaya said.
She’s also struggling with her memory.
“Sometimes I remember things and then they just… go lost.”
While going through an intense schedule of radiation treatments, Janaya has kept busy – writing a bucket list.
She wants to meet a popular YouTuber, host a pool party, go camping, check out the rides in West Edmonton Mall’s Galaxyland and sing on a stage in New York City.
Of course, she also wants to be famous.
She’s already on her way. Janaya has a YouTube account where she opens mystery boxes and shows off what’s inside.
To help her check experiences off the list, her uncle started a GoFundMe page which had raised over $26,000 as of Friday night.