Ep. 6: Lia's Fight Story

Lia Goh is a 15-year-old girl and a 9-year cancer survivor. At only 3-years-old, Lia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) - the most common type of cancer among children. Today, we are delighted to have Lia join us, offering us a fresh perspective on pediatric cancer survivorship.
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When Lia was 3-years-old, she became sick. Immediately, her parents knew something was wrong. They took her to the hospital in the hopes of finding the problem. Lia underwent many tests, but still, no one could figure out what was going on. Eventually, one test came back unusual. It showed that Lia's white blood cell counts were extremely low. Instantly, doctors sent Lia to Sick Kids hospital, where she was finally diagnosed with ALL.
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Lia's treatment took 3 long years. Lia spent most of her time in the hospital from ages 3 to 6. Specifically, Lia underwent many rounds of chemotherapy and lots of blood transfusions. Also, Lia lost her hair; however, her Dad and Uncle also shaved their heads to support her.
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Despite being very young, Lia shares fond memories of her time in the hospital. Always, Lia felt comforted by her phenomenal group of support. Doctors, nurses, volunteers, friends, family etc., were always there by Lia's side, no matter what.
During her time in the hospital, Lia recalls spending lots of time doing arts and crafts. Commonly, Camp Ooch - now Campfire Circle - ran arts and crafts stations in the hospital. These memories are very positive for Lia and one of the main reasons she continues to love art today. In fact, Lia designed and drew her hoodie for the Good Hood Club during the Cozy by Kids campaign.
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Despite all that Lia and her family went through, Lia remains exceptionally positive. Rarely does Lia think of cancer impacting her life negatively. She is inspired and proud of her journey and all that she has been able to accomplish.
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Although sometimes Lia hears her friends recall their childhoods, Lia recognizes hers was drastically different. While her friends went to Disneyland and daycare, Lia spent her time in the hospital. With all that being said, Lia was very fortunate. Her family was in a position where she still had many "normal" childhood experiences, albeit somewhat unconventionally.
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Lia's love for working with charity started a few years back. When Lia was in grade 7, her Dad forwarded her an email from POGO that discussed the Pancakes & PJs Party. Lia loved the idea. She talked to a few of her teachers and eventually ran a school-wide Pancakes & PJs party. Together as a school, they raised about $2,000 for POGO.
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Lia loved working with POGO and as an advocate for childhood cancer. She sought more opportunities to get involved. Eventually, Lia was asked to speak at the POGO PJ Party in front of 300 people. This was Lia's first time talking about her journey with cancer so publicly.
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From there, Lia also started to work with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Canada. In fact, in her grade 8 year, Lia was named their honorary survivor. She spoke to 12,000 people at their Light The Night event.
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Most recently, Lia, alongside her brother and a group of friends, founded howdi.Love. Howdi.Love is an online video messaging service whereby fans can connect with their favourite celebrities by purchasing personalized video messages. The proceeds from these messages will be donated to various charities. Lia's entrepreneurial spirit and her passion for social good have served as the foundation for howdi.love. We could not be more proud of Lia - what an incredible endeavour.
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While Lia has yet to decide what she wants to do when she's older, she is passionate about helping others. Lia is committed to being involved with charities and continuing in her mission to raise awareness and funds for cancer.
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