May 24, 2017 - June 21, 2022

Bubble tea and ice cream, her sister and Cinderella – these were a few of Penn’s favourite things. It was a slight tremor in Penn’s hand that brought her to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where tests revealed a significant mass on the left side of Penn’s brain. That was the day that our lives forever changed – we would soon learn that Penn had brain cancer. She was just shy of her fourth birthday.

The hospital’s neurosurgical experts assembled and within days Penn had her first craniotomy. Not long after, tissue samples revealed the tumour was ependymoma. The tumour grew back in less than six weeks and a second craniotomy and a summer of radiation treatments followed. 

In March 2022, our family learned that the cancer spread to multiple areas of her neck and spine. There was nothing doctors could do except to keep Penn comfortable. It was early in Penn’s cancer journey that together with Penn we created her bucket list. We knew we had to make the most of our time with Penn; to be present with one another. Before Penn’s relapse, she had already accomplished so much: throwing rocks in the river, camping in the mountains, and seeing a whale in the ocean. 

As her health deteriorated, our family moved to Rotary Flames House for palliative care. Miraculously after 12 days, Penn was discharged to be at home where we spent quality time with her. Penn was also able to experience her final wish – to meet Cinderella in Disneyworld. We were one of the first families in Canada that visited Disneyworld post-COVID. 

Our sweet girl Penn the Brave, who loved her family, cooking, and dog Pepper Potts passed away at home with her parents at her side on June 21, 2022. 

We continue to honour Penn’s legacy through our charity Penn the Brave organization: bringing joy and hope to pediatric oncology families impacted by cancer in Calgary and the area.