We were your average working family of four. Our two children David (6) and Maria (8) were active with school and community activities, and we were kept busy getting them from point a to point b and making sure they were fed and looked after in between.
Then on March 17th, 2017 life as we knew it would change forever. David was diagnosed with cancer, Burkitt’s Leukemia to be exact. Burkitts leukemia is a rare, fast-growing type of leukemia in which too many white blood cells called B lymphocytes form in the blood and bone marrow. To say hearing your child has cancer is hard is an understatement. Telling the people who love him is even harder. Explaining it to David and his sister was heart wrenching.
A few days after the diagnosis David began his treatment at the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s. David received 6 rounds of in-patient chemo-therapy, pretty much back-to back. Physically, it took its toll on David’s little body, but mentally he was extremely strong. The medicine was a sword against the disease, and the support he received from his family, his friends, and his community was his shield. The love and kindness demonstrated throughout his treatments gave us all the strength to carry on. His happy was always bigger than his cancer, his attitude was an inspiration.
David, turned 7 in May of 2017, and finished his treatment in August of 2017. We felt a fitting way to celebrate would be to join the inaugural Light The Night event in St. John’s. We wanted an opportunity to recognize and celebrate what he had come through and we wanted to be a part of creating a future where leukemia and lymphoma is not just treatable, but curable.
David was full of joy at the light the night event. He and his sister were thrilled to be welcomed on stage by the society to help announce the final number of dollars raised. Despite the objections of his big sister, David took the microphone and let everyone know he was David Young, and he was “finished his cancer.”
We are excited to be back with Light The Night for 2020. David’s team, DY3 has raised over 20,000 to date. There have been advancements in childhood leukemia cancer treatments, the survival rate is more than 90 per cent. With research we hope for better outcomes, and treatments that don’t have life-long consequences, we dream of a cure. We walk for a future where no family will ever hear the news that their child has leukemia, and a time when no child will ever be called on to be as brave as David was. We walk to bring light to the darkness of blood cancer. We are team DY3, we hope on October 24 you will walk with us.