GF teen forced to cancel Make-A-Wish trip for second timeIt’s the second time in less than a year that Brittany Dvorak, who is battling leukemia, had to call off a family cruise and a chance to swim with dolphins off the coast of Mexico. She was scheduled to fly to Orlando on Saturday before setting off on the weeklong cruise.
A Grand Forks teenager who has battled leukemia since 2008 had to postpone her Make-A-Wish Foundation cruise to the Caribbean because of a medical setback.
It’s the second time in less than a year that Brittany Dvorak had to call off a family cruise and a chance to swim with dolphins off the coast of Mexico. She was scheduled to fly to Orlando on Saturday before setting off on the weeklong cruise.
Her father, Scott Dvorak, announced the bad news Thursday afternoon on her Caring Bridge website, writing that Dvorak’s blood counts were once again too low to go on the trip.
“It’s a sad day again for Brittany… not too sure how we can cope again with another cancelation of her trip,” Scott Dvorak wrote.
It was a repeat of a bad turn of events earlier this year that forced Dvorak to postpone a family cruise to Mexico that was scheduled to begin on Valentine’s Day.
Doctors told her she had to give her body time to naturally boost its count of white blood cells, which fight off infections and help the body heal. A low count meant the exposure to other people on the trip — including people who could be sick — could put her at risk.
Dvorak, who celebrating her 16th birthday today, was just 13 when doctors found a grapefruit-sized tumor and diagnosed her with T-cell ALL, a form of leukemia. She quickly started an aggressive treatment plan, and she’s now scheduled to finish up treatment in February.
Scott Dvorak said his daughter has felt better lately as she nears the end of treatment, but she was sick a couple of weeks ago after going to the Mayo Clinic facilities in Rochester, Minn., for her final spinal tap.
Doctors noticed her blood counts were low, and told her she would need another checkup to see if she was up to the trip. Mayo Clinic doctors called the Dvoraks on Thursday to let them know that the counts were still low to go on this cruise.
Scott Dvorak said it was “tough” news to tell his daughter, but Make-A-Wish Foundation officials have told him that she’ll be able to reschedule the trip. He said they’ll start lining up the cruise later this month, and said the family is hoping the third time will be the charm.
“I told her we’re going to go no matter what,” he said. “I don’t care when it is.”
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