In the heart of Montreal, Quebec, lives an extraordinary young girl named Sandy. At just 11 years old, she faces a difficult battle for such a young girl: she has cardiomyopathy. Although this heart disease has cast a shadow over her life, the teenager remains positive, and Toombow Kids has decided to share her story with you, while highlighting the importance of raising public awareness about organ donation.
Sandy’s carefree childhood was disrupted in December 2022. After several illnesses, doctors diagnosed her with advanced dilated cardiomyopathy. This type of disease causes the walls of the heart chambers to become thinner, making it harder for the heart to pump blood efficiently. For the teenager, this means that every breath is a conscious effort and every beat of her heart is a reminder of her fragility. Her health problems have become an increasingly important part of her life, and she now faces a daily struggle. Simple tasks such as climbing stairs or playing outside become strenuous efforts that leave her exhausted and breathless. Yet despite these difficulties, the teenager shows unwavering determination and resilience. Sandy refuses to let her illness define her, choosing instead to focus on the moments of happiness and light in her life by embracing the moments of joy with her loved ones.
“I’m a bit sad that I can’t play volleyball anymore, but I can still do lots of things like go fishing with Mom and Dad, draw, play board games… There are others who have bigger problems, so I’m not going to complain!”
On May 16th, between two days of treatment, Sandy celebrated her eleventh birthday. It was a chance for her to relax and enjoy herself like any other girl her age. Despite the limitations of her condition, she enjoyed every moment of the day with her family and friends. On that day, there was a special music blind test, a treasure hunt and a cupcake-making workshop (one of her guilty pleasures). As far as music is concerned, the young Canadian is quite proud of her achievements!
“I came first in the blind test and I’m really happy! Every time there was a Justin Bieber song, I found it in a few seconds. It’s not surprising, he’s a singer from my country and I adore him!
After excelling in the games, the bubbly teenager ended the day in style when her two best friends stayed over for a movie night with popcorn. While Sandy’s optimism is admirable, she is currently under pressure as she waits for a heart transplant. But, donors are scarce, especially for this organ, and she has to be patient and hold on to the hope that a donation will give her a better life. Like her, thousands of children around the world are waiting for a transplant every day, and all this demand shows how vital it is to raise awareness of organ donation. Sandy’s story is a reminder of the urgent need to encourage people to register as organ donors. One way to raise awareness for this cause among the youth could be for doctors to visit schools and give talks.
The Toombow Kids team is behind Sandy and sending her positive vibes for the rest of her fight !