as told by his mom, Wanda.
Cancer is a terrible thing that happens to other families, and especially not to children; that is what we thought until our world fell apart in 2013.
Jacob was 14, loved farming, hunting, four-wheelers, hockey and making people laugh. Deep down, though, we could see that something wasn’t right. He started suffering from headaches, stomach pains and severe anxiety. We ended up taking him out of school to be tutored at home until we could find out what was wrong. After months of testing, we were sent to LHSC where he was diagnosed with Stage Four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. When the surgeon told Jake he had cancer, a single tear rolled down his cheek, he smiled and said, “Someone finally believes me”.
We immediately moved into Ronald McDonald House and started aggressive chemotherapy treatments – which would take their toll on Jacob. One of the hardest things in the world is to sit back and watch your child suffer with severe pain, fevers, and endless needles and testing, when all you can do is hold his hand and pray that he would get through this. With the help of our new family (the Pediatric Oncology staff), wonderful doctors, endless chemotherapy treatments and people like Renee from Childcan, we all made it through as a team.
Childcan helped our family with parking passes, food vouchers, gift cards for necessities, and educational support. Renee has become a lifelong friend with our family. She listened, gave advice when asked and, if she didn’t know the answer, she would find someone who did.
Jake is now 18, almost 6’3″ and 240 lbs. He has just graduated from high school and is working on our family farm until he decides where he wants to go to college.
Kids with cancer have to grow up too quickly and lose a huge part of their childhood. Even though Jake suffers from many side effects, he is strong, thriving and will not let anything stand in his way.