An Orillia family is dealing with tragedy after their two-month-old baby was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness last week.
Katie Borgford and her husband, Grant, took their son Thomas to Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital (OSMH) last Saturday after noticing his belly seemed to be swelling.
"At first we were thinking he just had colic," she said. "His stomach wasn't going down though."
OSMH doctors performed an ultrasound on Thomas and told the family they feared Thomas had neuroblastoma of the adrenal gland with metastases to the liver. That was confirmed to be the case when he was transported to SickKids in Toronto early on Sunday morning by ambulance.
"We were shocked and devastated," Borgford said. "They started chemo treatment on Monday."
Borgford was told by SickKids doctors that there is a 90 percent cure rate for their son's illness.
"We are very hopeful," she said. "They are still doing all the tests and we are going to be here a while."
Borgford, a nurse at OSMH, is currently staying at Ronald McDonald House in Toronto with her husband, who is also a nurse, and their three-year-old daughter Eliza.
"With food costs and being off of work it's definitely putting financial strain on us," Borgford said.
To help financially aid the family, Sadie Falcon, a cousin of Borgford, started a GoFundMe campaign earlier this week. It has already raised over $21,500.
"It's incredibly overwhelming and so appreciated," Borgford said. "It's incredible that our community has rallied together, and I know our hospital was a huge part of that."
Borgford says the fundraiser and support from the community has been "touching."
"We've had lots of family and friends reach out," she said. "The donations are one thing but the support, kind words and prayers are also super meaningful."
Thomas has been going through multiple tests this week and doctors are hopeful they will soon be able to start the process of shrinking the tumour.
"This is 100 per cent the toughest thing we've ever been through," she said. "It was so shocking and out of nowhere."