February 26, 2019 12:43 am

B.C. child cancer patient feels good enough to go to school, but has to stay home amid measles outbreak

WATCH: A young girl battling cancer has now taken a break from chemotherapy but even though she feels well enough to go back to school, the poor measles' vaccination rate is preventing her from joining her peers. John Hua reports.

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After fighting cancer for four years, Sage knows how to find a silver lining in even the toughest news.

So when the eight-year-old was told harsh rounds of chemotherapy are no longer an option, she at least started feeling well enough to go back to school.

“So much of her childhood has been taken away,” mother Lynn-Anne Graham said. “She deserves to go to school, to be a kid.”

READ MORE: Vancouver Coastal Health confirms 2 new cases of measles as outbreak continues

A recent measles outbreak in Metro Vancouver, however, has forced Sage to stay at home.

Graham says her daughter was unable to get her second measles vaccination because of her ongoing treatment. The chemotherapy and radiation treatment has also left her immune system at greater risk.

Globalnews.ca coverage of measles

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Sage’s oncology team at B.C. Children’s Hospital has said going to school is not worth the risk.

“It breaks my heart because she’s been through so much and we don’t know what’s coming ahead,” Graham said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said it has strong concerns for those with compromised immune systems.

READ MORE: Mother of patient with new Vancouver measles case alarmed after Delta doctors missed diagnosis

“That’s actually one of the populations that we’re most worried about,” said Dr. Reka Gustafson, Medical Health Officer with Vancouver Coastal Health.

“We have had cases of measles develop in people who couldn’t be protected through immunization because of a medical condition.”

Graham said she’s frustrated that other parents’ decision to not vaccinate their children could be stripping her child of this small “sense of normal.”

Sage has been advised to stay at home until at least March 7, but with more cases of measles being reported that date is now in question.

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