as told by his mom, Jessica.
January 12, 2014 may be just an ordinary day to most people, but not to us. This is the day I will never forget. I had taken my four-year-old son, Conner, to the ER. Never in a million years would I have thought they would come back and tell me that he had a football-sized tumour in his abdomen and they suspected that it was cancer. From that day on, life as we knew it was never going to be the same.
Being a single mother of three boys is difficult enough. I thought I was alone and I was scared. Then I met Renee from Childcan. She was amazing! From the beginning of our journey, Childcan was there to support us through it all: the diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma Stage 3, Group 3 Chemo, radiation, tests, blood work, surgeries, the back and forth between SickKids and London… Childcan never once missed a beat; they were right there supporting our family every way possible – mentally, emotionally and financially, providing parking passes, food vouchers, and giving my son his last Christmas with Santa. And so much more.
They arranged to have Pittsburgh Penguins send Conner a personal motivational video as they were his favourite NHL team. We had a private tour of the London Knights with a meet and greet before watching a game. Conner loved holidays; it didn’t matter which one so, of course, Childcan went and gave him the best last Christmas. I consider them now to be family, someone who we could always count on, not just to listen but to be there for us with a hug or a hand hold; they just knew when we needed them.
Conner was a happy little boy. He liked to play hockey, ride his bike, go swimming and, most of all, build Lego. Conner always had a big smile on his face; he loved being with his family and watching his big brothers.
My son fought hard, but he was tired. He lost his battle at the age of 6½ years old. Childcan remains present in our lives today. My family couldn’t have gone through what we did without them. We are forever grateful and started an annual Halloween fundraiser in honour of my son, with all proceeds going back to Childcan so they can continue to help families whose lives have been turned upside down.