Coronavirus: Alberta family pleads for COVID-19 compliance

‘At the mercy of everyone doing the right thing’: Alberta family pleads for COVID-19 compliance
WATCH: All levels of government are giving the same constant reminder: stay home if at all possible. As Jill Croteau reports, it's a directive one Alberta teenager's life depends on.

Fourteen-year-old Mikah Dupuis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in June 2019.

As a result of her diagnosis, she must undergo aggressive chemotherapy treatment for two and a half years.

Family members said the chemotherapy weakens her immune system and makes her particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Mikah Dupuis, 14.
Mikah Dupuis, 14.

Lina Dupuis, Mikah’s Mom, said neither she nor the family can take any risks with being exposed to the virus.

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“I don’t know how to protect her other than staying in our home,” Lina said.

“We feel completely helpless. We have been in a state of isolation for months.”

Mikah, before diagnosis.
Mikah, before diagnosis. Courtesy: Lina Dupuis

During their time of isolation, the family has left chalked messages of love and hope for all those they can’t let inside.

They’re also asking the community around them to be extra cautious.

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“When she was diagnosed, her safety fell into the arms of her medical team,” Lina said.

“Now with this new threat, her health and well-being falls into the arms of the entire community.”

Messages on Dupuis’s driveway.
Messages on Dupuis’s driveway. Jill Croteau/Global News

Mikah also requires extended stays at Alberta Children’s Hospital, but new restrictions at medical facilities mean her parents can’t be together at their daughter’s bedside. New guidelines only allow one parent and no children.

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“When our daughter was diagnosed, the one thing that got us through the fog was visitors and support,” Lina said. “For Mikah’s mental state, it was good to have other people to look at other than doctors and nurses.”

Mikah and sister Kya.
Mikah and sister Kya. Courtesy: Lina Dupuis

Her family said they admire Mikah’s strength but worry her stamina to survive through this is a responsibility far beyond their control.

Lina added she hopes people take isolation directives seriously as there are many other families fighting the same battle as hers.

“It’s devastating. These kids are fighting a battle for their lives already,” Lina said.

“Families like ours or any family with a cancer diagnosis are at the mercy of everyone doing the right thing at this point.

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“I’m asking and pleading with people to make smart choices and stay home if you can.”

Mika’s family is grateful to have the support of Kids Cancer Care, which has moved its programming online.