Windsor girl dies as family pushes for childhood cancer funding to be election issue
WINDSOR -- A Windsor girl has died after a courageous battle with cancer.
Layla Girard, 12, passed away peacefully late Monday afternoon surrounded by her family.
Girard was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in October 2019. It is an aggressive and highly malignant form of cancer that afflicts children.
In August, she had a seven-hour surgery at a London hospital to remove a brain tumour after suffering multiple seizures and strokes.
In recent weeks, Layla's mother Dawn Marchand has joined to call to have more federal funding allocated for research to find a cure for cancer.
"A 12-year-old girl facing cancer is ridiculous in itself let alone to not have any other options to save her life," said Marchand in an interview last week with CTV Windsor.
So when Marchand heard that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was coming to Windsor on Sept. 16 for an election rally, she took to social media.
"Layla is a prime example of what lack of funding looks like and I felt he needed to see it," said Marchand.
That led to a four-minute Facetime conversation between Marchand and Trudeau. The Liberal leader said he wasn't sure if childhood cancer research would be in the party's platform.
On Sept. 30, the Liberals released its platform and in it was a promise to boost research by $30 million.
"Just seeing that brought tears to my eyes, you know?" said Marchand. "We had made a difference, we had accomplished something that really needed to be accomplished."
According to Childhood Cancer Canada, six children will be diagnosed with cancer every day.