Athina Merckx is an energetic teenager. Two years in the past, although, when she was 13, her exercise got here to a sudden halt.
It began when the Kelowna lady observed one thing uncommon on her leg.
“I felt one thing in the back of my knee after swim follow at some point,” Merckx informed World Information.
She was ultimately recognized with what’s known as Desmoid Fibromatosis.
“They’re tumours which are within the physique,” mentioned Jody Merckx, Athina’s mother. “The physique creates these tumours and so they’re like scar tissue and so they are likely to invade on different tissues.”
Desmoid Fibromatosis may be very uncommon and has no remedy.
In response to the Desmoid Tumour Foundation of Canada, the illness impacts roughly 5 to 6 folks per million, yearly.
Desmoid tumours are mentioned to be domestically aggressive and may trigger life-threatening issues and even loss of life after they invade important organs.
In response to the muse, “the tendency for recurrence with surgical procedure makes the therapy of those tumours difficult.”
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Jodi Merckx remembers the day her daughter was recognized in February 2019.
“It was in all probability the worst day of my life, of all of our lives,” Jodi Merckx mentioned.
It was particularly tough as a result of that they had by no means heard of the illness and never a lot was recognized about it.
“It was actually scary for me as a result of nobody else might inform me a definitive reply of what it meant,” Athina Merckx mentioned.
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Within the two years because the prognosis, Athina Merckx has made many journeys to B.C. Youngsters’s Hospital for therapy.
She’s additionally had surgical procedure to take away a tumour.
Whereas she’s doing higher now, tumours will seemingly be one thing she’ll cope with for the remainder of her life.
“They’re nonetheless there, however they’ve stabilized and will not be rising. However they have an inclination to try this for a couple of years, after which they’ll presumably come again,” mentioned Jodi Merckx.
Athina Merckx is now attempting to boost analysis funding and consciousness concerning the illness — and she or he’s doing so through the use of her household’s ardour for biking.
“Biking is one thing that’s near my coronary heart I’ve grown up with it,” she mentioned.
Her mother and father, Jodi and Axel Merckx, are the organizers of the favored and long-running Grand Fondo biking occasion in Penticton.
They’ve created a digital using occasion known as Athina’s Trip in hopes of getting the illness change into higher recognized and higher researched.
“Breast most cancers and different kinds of most cancers, coronary heart illness … lots of people find out about it and so they elevate cash for it. And this illness simply doesn’t have that,” Jodi Merckx mentioned.
The occasion has folks biking on their very own schedules and paces and elevating cash.
However anybody can participate or select to donate.
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“It’s ending on July 11, so you possibly can trip anytime between from time to time, any distance you need,” Jodi Merckx mentioned.
“You possibly can stroll, you can run, you don’t should trip a motorcycle when you don’t have one. It’s no matter works for you, simply to be energetic and out in the neighborhood and supporting it.”
The purpose is to boost $100,000. To this point, greater than half of that has been collected.
All the donations go on to the Desmoid Tumour Basis of Canada
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Athina Merckx hopes her story and the biking occasion make a distinction for others who will probably be recognized with the illness.
“I hope that the subsequent child or individual or anybody who’s recognized with this illness understands,” she mentioned, “and has a definitive reply of what they will do and what needs to be completed.”
Click on here for extra info or to register and/or donate.
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