One year ago, former Winkler residents, Nathan and Kaycie Sawatzky's world was turned upside down after a trip to the E.R. with their then 11-month-old daughter, Alette "Letty."
Noticing a lump on Letty's stomach while massaging her to help ease gas pain, Kaycie said she knew something wasn't right. Fast forward to 1 AM, the Sawatzkys were at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg hearing Letty's cancer diagnosis from the oncologist.

Since last year, circumstances have forced the Sawatzky family to move to Blumenort to be closer to the Children's Hospital for Letty's many trips and stays there. The family has faced numerous other hardships.

For the entire family, which includes Letty's 3 older siblings, Nathan and Kaycie said having to spend long stretches apart as a full family unit has been tough. 

Letty Sawatzky

Kaycie said a bright light on their journey has been the loving people at Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. She says they were only in the hospital for two days when they received a special care package from Candlelighters.

"It had a blanket in there and some water bottles, which is not something Nathan and I had," exclaimed Kaycie. "The parking pass. That was a big deal because we were trying to pay for our parking. And just trying to get through each day. Being able to scan the pass at the gate was way easier." 

Every Thursday, they were also brought supper from the Candlelighters Foundation. "A good supper! It's good food," added Nathan.

About two weeks ago, Letty had a major abdominal surgery. 

"They scheduled this in for an all-day surgery. They scheduled, I think, 8 hours on the on the books," shared Nathan.

Kaycie and Nathan agreed their daughter is feisty and can't be held back. "The recovery went way better than expected, very different than expected, I would say," said Nathan.

"The first day (she) was in bed and didn't move, and (she) cried a lot. And day two, she was sitting for about 6 hours, and wouldn't lie down cause it hurt to lie down. But she was sitting," Kaycie said. "By the third day, she was walking around with toys."

The annual online auction in support of Candlelighters is underway until Apri 10th. All proceeds from the auction go towards the Foundation's annual family camp, programs, and services. 

Click HERE to find out how you can bid on an item or donate to the auction.

There is also a GoFundMe page in support of Letty and her family. It's also a place where you can follow along on her journey.

~ With files from Connie Bailey ~