ELORA – Addison Hill has a whole team behind her – a medical team, a family and friends team, and a whole community support team.
And Team Addy is preparing for a Family Fun Day on July 8 and 9, not only to show support for the soon-to-be-14-year-old, who’s been battling a rare angiosarcoma for almost a year, but also to raise funds for research into sarcoma cancers at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.
Addy’s mother Jessica Hill said she came up with the fundraiser idea and some of the logistics, but as Addy’s health has declined in recent weeks, the support team has stepped up.
“Originally it was going to be a basketball tournament and lemonade stand,” Hill said with a laugh.
Now the event is running over two days, with the three-on-three tournament and a full day of games, activities, an artisan market, face painting, silent auction, dunk tank and a draw for two round-trip tickets to any destination Air Canada flies.
There’s also Team Addy apparel that can be purchased through the Team Addy Facebook page. Wheat and Sea Collective has produced the shirts and sweatshirts and is donating proceeds to Sick Kids as well.
Already she’s raised $40,000, “and we haven’t even had the event yet,” Hill said.
While that’s all positive, Addy’s story is not as happy.
Her medical journey began in August of 2021 when she discovered a lump in her breast. Investigation revealed she has a rare and aggressive cancer called angiosarcoma.
Doctors at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital removed the tumor and she began chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Sick Kids Hospital.
There have been more bumps along the way. Addy was allergic to the chemotherapy and had to stop treatment until a new cocktail could be devised.
She’s been home and back from hospital several times, most recently in hospital in early June, when in an email Hill said the disease was progressing.
“Unfortunately we have been told she only has weeks left,” Hill wrote.
In a phone interview on June 28, Hill said Addy is home again and receiving immunotherapy treatment.
“It’s been such a fluid situation from the get-go,” she said.
“Hopefully her body responds.”
Hill has kept her circle up-to-date on a few Facebook pages and through it all she says Addy is positive, optimistic and real about what’s happening to her.
“She’s witty, sassy and they love her at Sick Kids,” Hill said.
“Its been tough, but she gives me strength. She makes my job easy.”
Addy was too tired to be interviewed herself, but wrote a Facebook post where she talks of being proud to be an ambassador for Sick Kids Hospital and encouraged people to donate to the cause.
“Cancer has taught me a lot of things,” she wrote, “but most of all it has taught me to appreciate the little things that life has to offer; there will always be a silver lining to look for or a rainbow around the corner … never give up!
“Keep fighting with all you got, and find the simple pleasures everyday that make you happy! You got this because cancer is tough, but you’re tougher. No one fights alone.”
Hill said Addy loves to play basketball – hence the 3V3 tournament on July 8 and 9.
She loves the outdoors and nature. That’s why the Family Fun Day will be outdoors at Centre Wellington District High School.
“She loves life,” said her mother. “That’s why we’re living life to the fullest, one day at a time.”
More information about the Family Fun Day, how to order apparel, how to register for the basketball tournament and more about her journey can be found at Facebook.com/teamaddy8.