Ep. 8: Chris' Fight Story

For the past ten years, Chris Dorsey has been partaking in Meagan's HUG with his entire family and crew of support. Chris and his family have been valued members of the Meagan's HUG community ever since he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009.
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Chris was a 10-year-old boy who loved sports - hockey and rugby were among his favourites - and hanging out with his friends. So, when Chris started experiencing headaches, he didn't think much of it and continued to try and live his everyday life. Eventually, the headaches became so severe that they made him nauseous and sometimes forced him to go home from school or take a pause from sports.
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Chris's headaches finally hit a breaking point when he collapsed, lost vision, and began to throw up non-stop. The headaches were no longer tolerable. Chris' parents rushed him to Sunnybrook hospital. Immediately, Chris had an MRI. Right away, they knew something was wrong. Chris was transferred to Sick Kids.
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As soon as Chris arrived at Sick Kids, he had a few more tests and scans. Then, within the next couple of days, they also performed a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Waiting for the biopsy results was long and excruciating. Eventually, they heard back, and the news was not as they had hoped; Chris had a brain tumour.
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Luckily, Chris's tumour was not very aggressive, and doctors felt confident in their ability to treat it. Yet, the journey would still not be easy. Chris's treatment included three long years of chemotherapy with many unexpected hurdles. Including when about six months into his first round of chemotherapy, his tumour began to grow again. Ultimately, this required Chris to need a second round of chemotherapy.
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Chemotherapy was difficult. Some days were better than others. There were days when Chris felt ok, but there were also days when he felt horrible and could hardly do anything. The second round of chemotherapy was incredibly challenging. He found himself often bedridden and nauseous, making it difficult to do anything.
When Chris finally finished his treatment, he was in grade eight. And since then, he has been able to slowly distance himself from the hospital - more and more every year. Now, Chris goes back for a check-up every two years or so, which is an excellent relief after spending a significant portion of his childhood in the hospital.
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Since cancer, Chris has focused on other areas of his life. Despite having to quit all contact sports - e.g. hockey and rugby - Chris has discovered a love for volleyball and tennis. Chris played volleyball and tennis throughout high school and played recreationally in university as well.
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Chris successfully graduated from high school and pursued a degree in Commerce at Queen's University. Chris had a great four years at Queen's and should be proud of his tremendous accomplishments. Since then, he has gone on to work in a consulting position with Accenture. And while his work is still remote, he has also been able to travel around the country.
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Although Chris' diagnosis feels like forever ago, the memories remain at the forefront of his mind. Shortly after his diagnosis, Chris remembers hearing about Meagan's HUG. It wasn't long until Chris and his family connected with Denise - Meagan's Mom and Founder of Meagan's HUG. From the start, Chris and his family were welcomed with open arms into this incredible tight-knit community of support for which they are eternally grateful.
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Still to this day, Chris has remained in touch with the Meagan's HUG community. Over the years, Chris has spoken at numerous events about his journey, and so has his sister. Also, Chris and his family have never missed a walk and HUG - except, obviously, for the past two years due to COVID-19. Meagan's HUG has provided Chris with a fantastic source of support throughout his entire journey. Now, Chris continues to give back to this community to provide support and comfort to other children and families battling brain tumours.
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This weekend, Chris will return home to Toronto to participate in Meagan's HUG's annual walk and HUG. Chris would never miss this momentous occasion, despite currently living on the other side of the country.
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Chris' story is one of resilience and courage. We are so grateful to be able to share Chris' exceptional story. Whether or not you have been affected by pediatric brain tumours, Chris's positivity and passion for life provide an invaluable source of comfort and inspiration. Everyone can learn something from Chris and his journey.

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