From that first hockey game, we became active members of Kids Cancer Care programs. Our first visit and introduction to Camp Kindle was that spring for Mother’s Day Brunch, which was a beautiful way for us to spend the day as a family. We also attended Family Camp that year, which provided an incredible and much-needed weekend retreat. That summer, Colby attended a special day at WinSport with Kids Cancer Care, where he got to experience a variety of different activities. But his favourite program that summer was definitely Kids Cancer Care’s SunRise day camps. It was the first time since Colby had been diagnosed that we left him in the care of someone else who wasn’t immediate family. We knew that he was in the amazing care of Kids Cancer Care’s staff and volunteers. He had the best time at camp and it was so heartwarming to see a child, who had been through so much, enjoy life again. The programs that Kids Cancer Care offers are such an incredible distraction during difficult journeys that allow these children who have dealt with so much to have experiences they miss out on while in treatment or as a result of treatment.
We often used pictures from Kids Cancer Care events or activities that Colby had attended to distract him while he was in clinic or whenever he was admitted. Being immunosuppressed for as long as Colby was made him susceptible to getting sick. Common childhood viruses like hand, foot and mouth disease were so extreme for Colby that he ended up on pain medications to help get him through it because he didn’t have the immune system to fight it off properly. Additionally, he often experienced a ton of aching and pain in his legs and joints – especially after his IV chemo appointments and the five-day steroid pulses. Despite all the pain, Colby still had a passion for being active and all things sports, so when he had his bad days and he was struggling to walk and get around, it was really tough to watch and imagine how it might get better. Luckily for us, and Colby, Kids Cancer Care offers a PEER program (Pediatric cancer patients and survivors Engaging in Exercise for Recovery) that encourages children to keep moving and stay active through sports, games and other fun activities.”
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, do something meaningful today to support families affected by childhood cancer: http://www.kidscancercare.ab.ca.