A new SickKids campaign aimed at treating children with more individualized care was inspired by late Elora teen Addy Hill.
When Addy first arrived at SickKids in 2021 after being diagnosed with angiosarcoma, she asked her oncologist, Dr. David Malkin, if she was going to die.
He told her he and his team would do everything in their power to make sure that didn’t happen, but that he didn’t have a crystal ball.
“Time and time again, hospital admission after hospital admission, she had more questions, and it was hard for him to answer them,” said Addy’s mother Jessica Hill. “So she kept saying, ‘you really need to get your hands on a crystal ball.’”
Then one day, she decided to get one for him, giving it to him at her next hospital admission and telling him he just needed to learn how to use it.
“It was kind of a funny joke between the two of them,” Hill said. But it was more than just a joke to Addy.
“Addison had a lot of anxiety. She likes black and white answers. She didn't like the grey. And unfortunately, when you have a cancer diagnosis, there's a lot of grey,” Hill said.
“And I think, to some degree, she was quite hopeful this crystal ball would actually give her some answers. And in a silly way, I think it did mean a lot to her for him to actually have it. I think she did have faith in a crystal ball,” she said.
Addy’s desire for answers from the crystal ball was the inspiration for the Precision Child Health campaign, called Heal the Future, which aims to diagnose children faster, treat smarter and predict better, by using a less traditional and more personalized approach.
The campaign is utilizing cutting-edge science, technology and data analysis to account for differences in a child’s genetic makeup, environment and lifestyle – “everything from their genetic code to their postal code,” a news release states.
Hill said she’s a “proud mama” seeing such an inspiring campaign stem from Addy’s fight, and that she’s positive Addy would be “very moved by it all.”
“Ultimately, she just wanted to help the other kids at SickKids. And this is exactly that (the campaign) is doing,” she said.
“This little girl from Elora has now created this legacy at SickKids. That’s pretty awesome,” she said.