1-How old were you when you were diagnosed and what type of cancer did you have.
I was 9 years old when I was diagnosed with T-cell ALL leukemia.
2-How did you feel when you first received the news?
I was sad and confused when I was told by the doctors at CHEO that I had cancer.
3-How did the diagnosis change your day to day life. What about school and treatment?
Life changed immediately. I was admitted to CHEO, my parents moved into Ronald McDonald House and treatment started the next morning. There was no Lift Off for us that year – something that we did every year. There was no school come September. There was no playing with friends. There was no going anywhere. We lived at Ronald McDonald House for 10 months. I missed going to school for all of grade 5 (I had a special tutor when I moved home so that I did not lose my year). We lived in a bubble for the three and a half years that I was in treatment.
4-How are you doing now?
I am doing really good now. My life is back to normal and I am feeling great. I am almost 4 years off treatment. I am doing kungfu three times per week, in grade 12 at Holy Trinity and looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
5-What message would you like to provide families dealing with childhood cancer at this point in time in our community?
I would tell people to stay positive, to take one day at a time (or smaller chunks if need be), and the there is always hope. To hold onto the silver linings as they help to get through the rough patches.
Editor’s Note: In an effort to raise awareness of Childhood Cancer and some of the organizations that help, the Optimist Club of Cornwall is honoured to sponsor a no dinner dinner fundraiser.
Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of Canadian children. Childhood cancer does not discriminate – it is diagnosed in children of all creeds, colours, religions, sex, financial status, etc. Each year in Canada, approx 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer. 1 in 5 will not survive. Of the approx. 80% who survive, 2/3 will develop side effects from the disease and treatments such as secondary cancers, sterility, cognitive deficiencies, etc. CCOF, CHEO, Candlelighters and Ronald McDonald House Ottawa all strive to help children and their families during and after their cancer diagnosis.
Please help us to help them help our children. Purchase your no-dinner dinner ticket at https://optimistclubofcornwall.org/product/paint-cornwall-gold-no-dinner-dinner/