as told by his mom, Jennifer.
On February 14, 2014, our lives were forever changed.
Kaleb had been feeling unwell for some time. We’d had numerous doctors’ appointments but no one had been able to tell us what was wrong. I finally decided to bring Kaleb to the emergency room and that began our journey with childhood cancer.
We were rushed by ambulance from Windsor to Children’s Hospital in London. Kaleb was in an extreme amount of pain, unable to walk, eat or even stay awake. After three weeks of admission, numerous bone marrow biopsies, blood work, etc., we were told that Kaleb had cancer.
Stage 4 Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma.
This type of cancer is very rare in children and Kaleb was only eight years old. His doctor told us she had treated only one other child with this type of cancer. My first thought was how am I going to tell my baby he has cancer?
Through it all, he was so brave and so strong. Kaleb was the one saying to me, “It’s going to be ok, Mom, don’t worry. Why are you crying? I’m fine.” Kaleb was so brave and so strong, such an inspiration to our family and to anyone he met. Kaleb finished his chemo without any real setbacks; in fact, he was able to fast-track his treatment because he continually got healthier and stronger.
My strength came from watching Kaleb improve, and from the amazing support systems in place for families like ours whose world has just been turned upside down. That very much includes Childcan and Renee herself. Renee was a beacon of light in a very dark tunnel. She would not only come by to bring us much-needed supplies, such as gift cards, gas cards, and food vouchers, but Renee gave us emotional support. She sat with me at some of my darkest moments, sharing her own stories and just listening.
Childcan is an organization to help families when they need it most, and that is exactly what they do.
I am so very proud to say that today, two and a half years later. Kaleb is cancer-free – living life and enjoying it as a very happy and healthy 11 year-old boy should.
We are eternally grateful to everyone we met on this journey who took care of my son. There truly aren’t words.