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tori tori

Tori Alexandra Carswell - Jul 1, 1994 - Jan 16, 2004


Tori was born July 1st, 1994 (Canada Day), and was a beautiful little girl. She was a wonderful, caring and sensitive child.

Tori began having back and leg pain at the age of 5 ½ . We visited doctors, but didn’t get any answers for a couple of months. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma just 3 weeks shy of her 6th birthday.

Tori endured the same grueling treatment that most of the kids experience with Neuroblastoma, many rounds of chemo, surgery, stem cell transplant and radiation. Within 1 year, her cancer had returned.

At this point we were given a 5% chance of survival, and were given the option of doing nothing. We decided with Tori that we wouldn’t give up.

The community of Stittsville, and many friends and family rallied around our family the summer and fall of 2001.

Over $100,000 was raised to assist us with medical and travel costs, because we knew we would have to go out of Canada for more treatment.

Tori was put on more chemo, and once the disease was under control, we traveled to Sloan Kettering in NY City to do a somewhat experimental type of treatment called 3F8s. They were extremely painful, and unfortunately bought her no time.

Tori started back on the chemo, but had to discontinue after she experienced a serious infection and ended up in ICU for a while. From there we tried MIBG therapy, which was her easiest treatment, but did little to stop the progression of the disease.

The disease at this point had spread to her lungs and liver and she was given weeks to live. This brings us to Christmas 2003, and she was 9 ½ years old. We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, where she felt great and could do most things that children do. That I guess, was our miracle! In January 2004 she quickly deteriorated, and she had to be admitted to hospital because we were unable to control the pain in her belly. She passed away within days on January 16th.

Tori, with her infectious smile and passion for life became an inspiration to many, as friends, family and community did everything they could to give Tori a chance. As it turned out, it was Tori who was giving us something special. Tori’s courage and strength throughout her battle, inspired all to carry on each day, and appreciate the little things in life. She taught us not to worry about the petty things, and to live each day like it’s your last.