Zane Baker will undergo proton therapy in Florida to treat the remaining 10 per cent of the tumour left in his frontal lobe. The treatment is not available in Canada. Photo Submitted

Sylvan Lake family ‘humbled’ by support as son undergoes cancer treatment

Zane Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 and will now travel to Florida for treatment

One Sylvan Lake family is grateful and humbled for the help, support and prayers they have received in a difficult time.

In 2017 Zane Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumour. One year later he under went surgery to remove 90 per cent of the tumour, later discovering it to be a Grade 2 left frontal lobe Oligodendroglioma.

According to Zane’s mother Leigh Baker, being categorized at a Grade 2 meant the tumour was slow moving, but could at any time become more aggressive.

Now Zane and Leigh are preparing to move to Jacksonville, FL, to receive proton therapy.

“Proton therapy is less harmful, has less effect to cognitive function and has less side effects than photon therapy, which is what is used in Canada,” Leigh explained.

Proton therapy will target the tumour in the brain more directly with less potential damage to the heathy brain around it.

However, to receive this treatment Zane has to travel out of country, but first had to gain approval through doctors at Cross Cancer Centre. This process began in February of this year.

“We got the call on May 9 that we were approved, and on the 14th we got another call saying they wanted to arrange travel,” said Leigh, adding she will be moving to Florida with her son for the summer at the end of May.

The Alberta government is footing the medical and travel expenses for Zane to receive this treatment, however there are many more costs associated.

While Leigh is staying with Zane, her husband Bert will be remaining in Sylvan Lake with their three other children, with plans to visit once the school year is over.

Zane wants to keep his apartment in Edmonton while in Florida because it is a simple 10 minute walk to MacEwan University, where he has just been accepted into the performance track for his drumming.

“We want to keep his apartment because when we comes home he will begin to undergo chemotherapy, and if he feels sick at school or something as a result it isn’t far for him to get home,” Leigh explained.

Leigh’s sister Jenny Magnuson started a Go Fund Me page with the intent to help the family while they were temporarily separated.

She says the money from the campaign will go towards flights for the family, lodging, food and a car to travel to appointments.

“Since this all began so many people have wanted to help, to give to our family in some way, but at the time there was no immediate need,” said Magnuson.

“We started the campaign to give those who wanted to help an outlet to do so, and help alleviate an immediate need.”

As of publishing, the campaign has raised $11,000 out of the $15,000 goal.

“It has been just incredible to see the support our community has given us,” said Magnuson. “We feel so blessed.”

For Zane and Leigh it has been a humbling experience to go through.

Zane told his mother he is so grateful to those who have wished him well or wanted to help in anyway.

“It is hard to put into words how much this means,” Leigh said for her son.

The family says they have felt unconditional love from the community, and it is coming from some they don’t even know.

Leigh said she has heard from other across the country who are praying for her son and her family.

“A woman in Georgia, whom I have never met, reached out to help arrange an apartment for us,” said Leigh.

She said to have people praying for them has meant the world, as the family has a very strong faith.

“There is so much power in it, that people are praying for him… it is overwhelming,” said Leigh.

Once treatment is done, which is expected to be done by the middle of August, Zane and his family will return to Alberta, where he will return to school while undergoing chemotherapy for the next year.

Leigh said he is already looking to the future, and is planning to go on a semester abroad once he is finished treatment.

“This, the prayers and the support, is giving him hope and a future, and we are so grateful,” Leigh said, adding her family plans to pay back the generosity they have experienced in some way.

Those looking to donate to the Go Fund Me campaign can do so at

Just Posted

Young Sylvan Lake hockey player says ‘challenges won’t define her’

Hailey McWhirter posed in a photo shoot to show girls can play hockey, do anything they want

PHOTOS: Young Eckville golfers learn the basics at kids’ workshop

Eckville Rec Board held a golf clinic at Dark Horse Golf Course for kids wanting to learn the sport

Highlights of the Lacombe County council meeting – June 13, 2019

Next Regular Council Meeting is Thursday, June 27

Alberta launches court challenge of federal carbon tax

Province wants a legal opinion on the constitutionality of Ottawa imposing the tax

Jason Kenney hands out earplugs during debate on unions’ bargaining rights

Alberta premier gives earplugs to United Conservative caucus members so they can tune out the NDP

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Ponoka County receives update from energy lobby group

CAPP hopes to work with municipalities on property tax issues

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Late night fight in Wetaskiwin results in aggravated assault, assault with a weapon charges

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery and aggravated assault

Maskwacis featured in documentary series that unearths Indigenous cuisine

Red Chef Revival’s host visits community, elders and Nipisihkopahk School

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Most Read