It was a routine moment in time that changed everything for my family.

I was a baby – just 11 months old – and my mom was giving me a bath. She felt a lump on my side and was immediately concerned. After several doctor’s visits and medical tests, my parents’ worst fears were realized. A large tumor had taken over my entire left kidney.sisters

Unfortunately, the bad news did not stop there. The cancer had spread to my lungs. In addition to chemotherapy treatments, I needed two surgeries – one to remove my left kidney and the second to remove spots on my lungs. Thankfully, when I was four years old, I was finally declared cancer-free.

I have no memories of my cancer and the chemotherapy treatments or surgeries. My parents did not share the full story of my cancer journey with me until many years later. But, what I do remember is how grateful my parents were for the critical support that the Canadian Cancer Society provided during this terrible ordeal.

My parents were going through the severe emotional and physical stress that one endures when their child is very sick. They really needed an extra helping hand. For them, help came in the form of the Society’s Wheels of Hope transportation service.

After my diagnosis, I needed to travel back and forth from our home in Niagara Falls to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for treatment. My mom did not drive and my dad worked seven days a week to pay for our family’s expenses. For us, the Wheels of Hope transportation service was the perfect solution to our problem.

In addition to driving me to my medical appointments, the amazing Society volunteer drivers also supported my mother by giving her someone to talk to. During the car rides back and forth from my treatments,

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the drivers would listen and chat with my mom, which was exactly what she needed during one of the most challenging times in her life.

Although my cancer journey ended many years ago, the impact of the disease has stayed with me. I am strong and determined to live life to the fullest. I chose a career in healthcare so I could help others. And, I share my story as often as I can to motivate others to join me to fight back against a disease that touches too many lives.

It’s through the dedication of volunteers and the generous support of donors that the Society is able to offer the Wheels of Hope transportation service that helps so many families like mine. This service is supported by fundraising events such as Relay For Life and so I thank you.

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