My daughter Sophie was diagnosed with AML in 2018. 26 blood transfusions later, she is now in remission. The biggest challenge in this blood cancer experience was remaining hopeful and positive while watching people that we care about not having the same success as Sophie. Having to question if your child is going to live while going through treatment. Realizing everyone has a different story, not everyone's story has to be your story but you can try to be supportive to those people. Every now and again we’ll have a day when we don't 'think about blood cancer, then it will pop into your mind out of nowhere and the fear can creep back in. Learn how to mentally balance returning back to normal life, while recognizing those thoughts will be there and not let them dictate your life.
Because of this blood cancer experience, I have tried to make life less busy. I made a decision to cut back on work, and we take moments every day to pause and be grateful that we're here. We try not to sweat the small stuff anymore. Living life without the small stuff getting in the way is really a great way to life. There are secondary changes like questioning whether your child’s Leukemia could be genetic and the issues that they could entail for future family planning.
We were inspired to join Light the Night in 2019 because we were grateful for the treatment from medical community, felt so blessed from the care we received from doctors through clinical trials, and we wanted to continue to support that. We saw times when there are no options left, and if we can provide more funds into research, we can make a difference for families going forward.
Canadians should support the blood cancer community in Light the Night because until you've been touched by blood cancer, you don't know how widespread it is. You never know if someone you know or love will be affected by it. We've seen great progress in treatment and research from organizations like LLSC, but until you've gone through it, you don't have appreciation for how it can impact you mentally. The LLSC does a lot of help people not feel so alone through this process. Coping with the experience impacts your community, coworkers and friends and the LLSC does a lot so support those people and integrate them into the wider community.