Lifestyle

Girl due home soon after bone cancer battle

The Boyer family shave their heads during Sydney’s chemotherapy treatment. Her mother, Mikki, is a P.E. teacher at North Whidbey Middle School and her father, Chad, teaches P.E. at Olympic View Elementary.  - Photo courtesy of the Boyer family
The Boyer family shave their heads during Sydney’s chemotherapy treatment. Her mother, Mikki, is a P.E. teacher at North Whidbey Middle School and her father, Chad, teaches P.E. at Olympic View Elementary.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Boyer family

A courageous 12-year-old girl who has spent the last year battling bone cancer could return to her hometown as early as the end of October.

Sydney Boyer is the daughter of two Oak Harbor P.E. teachers, Mikki and Chad Boyer, and is being treated at the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Last January, Sydney was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma Bone Cancer in her left femur during her sixth-grade year at North Whidbey Middle School.

Her mother, a P.E. teacher at the same school, took a leave of absence to stay with Sydney in Seattle. Her daughter’s treatment called for a 30-week chemotherapy plan and two surgeries to remove the initial tumors.

Mikki said there were complications with Sydney’s recent surgery, including a two-day fever of 103 degrees, which will delay her treatment plan for a week. But they expect to begin the slow transition home soon.

In her online journal, Mikki wrote, “Cancer is not going to run our family, we will go on with our normal plans and should we be delayed, we’ll find a way to always make our family find ‘normalcy’ wherever we may be.”

The Boyers have found that technology and help from friends in the community are making life a little easier.

They recently set up a Skype account, a software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet and video conference.

There are nightly video chats with Sydney’s father, Chad, and her brother, who remain in Oak Harbor.

“They get to see each other and I get to see my son,” Mikki said.

And although Sydney is now in the Seattle school system, her Oak Harbor teachers have made an effort to help her feel connected to the middle school.

“I asked them if they would continue to act like her teachers and check up on her, and they have. They send her gifts and homework so she feels like a normal kid at North Whidbey,” Mikki said.

Mikki says her daughter is known for her love of fashion, interior design and animals, and also, her compassionate nature.

Many of Sydney’s schoolmates have helped with fundraising efforts during her time at the hospital. Last June, three teams from the middle school walked in honor of Sydney during Oak Harbor’s Relay for Life.

More recently, fifth-grader Seth Gluth, biked 60 miles to benefit Sydney during the Tour de Whidbey. He accepted pledges by the mile or a flat amount for the entire ride.

His mother, Tina, said he collected over $500.

“It was hard because he didn’t have the appropriate bike but he did very well. I asked him, ‘Do you want to stop?’ and he said ‘No, I’m doing this for Sydney.’”

Mikki said her daughter will soon undergo her final round of chemotherapy, followed by an end of treatment exam.

Initially, her return to school will only be part-time.

Sydney has been in a wheelchair since April, and Mikki said that once she returns home, she will go through intensive physical therapy.

However, her mother said Sydney couldn’t be more excited to return to school and she’s even finished most of her homework.

If you would like to follow Sydney’s progress, the family asks that you visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/sydneyboyer.

“We look forward to bringing her home to you,” Mikki said.

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