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Tsawwassen teenager's cancer spreads, treatment in U.S. canceled

DH Vancouver Staff Mar 06, 2015 6:10 pm

The McConkey family has received devastating news that their son, Kyle, is no longer able to proceed with an experimental cancer treatment in Seattle.

According to the Delta Optimist, the 18-year-old was at B.C. Children’s Hospital for a procedure preparing for his U.S. treatment when doctors discovered his cancer had spread to his spine. As a result, McConkey is no longer eligible for the experimental treatment.

There was much hope this week that there would be some light at the end of the tunnel. After significant delays due to a severe infection late last year, McConkey was finally scheduled to commence the treatment this week.

Doctors at the Seattle hospital told his parents earlier this week he was clear for treatment. The procedure involves taking T-cells from his white blood cells so that it can be re-engineered in a lab to aggressively fight the cancer. He was scheduled to return to Seattle in late-March so that the re-engineered T-cells can be placed back into his body.

McConkey is now being told there are no treatment options available to him and he is now residing at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Other treatments in Canada have failed. His younger brother provided him with a bone marrow transplant, but the cancer returned. A second transplant also failed to work.

The treatment in the U.S. cost $250,000, an amount that McConkey’s family could not afford to pay nor was it covered by insurance. The family turned to crowdfunding and ultimately raised a total of $282,124 to cover the cost of the trips to the United States and the expensive treatment.

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