Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Posted Jan. 10

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Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Updated 10:30 p.m., Nov. 9)
Orléans woman battling cancer launches GoFundMe page

By Kelly Snider
The Orléans Star

Orléans resident Leith Francis is currently in the fight of her life. After being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012, she thought the disease was behind her after having the tumour removed.

However, the day before her fourth year anniversary of being in remission, she received devastating news.

“I was hospitalized after having severe pain and struggling with breathing for a while, and (following tests) I found out the cancer had returned.”

Keion and Leith Francis were unsure of whether to launch a GoFundMe page but knew something needed to be done to find alternative cancer treatment. GoFundMe photo

Francis, 37, said this time the cancer was in her lungs, back, and abdomen.

“When we found out it was back, and wildly spread, we were devastated. Two days later or so, we found out it was Stage 4 and the life expectancy was five per cent and that’s when it really sunk in.”

Francis said all she could think about were her two children who are eight and 11 years old.

“All I could think about was what’s going to happen… it was very emotional and devastating,” said Francis.

Doctors told her that there was no cure and the most they could do was help her be comfortable for the remainder of her life. She’s been undergoing radiation and oral chemotherapy, where she takes two capsules every day.

Two weeks ago, she received an update for her MRI and CT scan which showed the cancer has spread to the skull.

However, based on the results from her chemotherapy treatments, there have been changes in her thorax that cancer cells were being reduced.
“The thing is, it was not working on my bones, and if anything will take me, it’s the bone cancer.”

Now, the goal is to see if there is a treatment to slow the progress of the cancer in the bones or stop it completely.

Francis’ husband, Keion, found a treatment in Mexico which could work. From there, he decided to launch a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the treatment in Mexico and to find any alternative treatments that will help her.

The two said the decision to launch the social media fundraising campaign was difficult.

“We weren’t sure we wanted to do it because we’re very private,” said Keion. “We didn’t want to burden our friends but I felt like I needed to do whatever I can and I felt like we needed the help.”

Francis said she does not like to put her personal business in the public eye, so she felt exposed and vulnerable to launch the GoFundMe page.

“It was a challenge for me to agree, but he feels he can’t sit around and wait for the chemo to work. He needs to do what he needs to do.”

The goal is to raise $60,000 for the expenses. As of Nov. 7, the page had raised just over $24,400.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support from friends and family and also from the community contributing. We thank you for all the prayers and well wishes,” said Keion.

If you would like to donate, you can visit Francis’ GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/leiths-medical-expense-fund.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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