"September is now known as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month," recognized Volunteer Chairperson for Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Group Naomi Fehr, "and it's something that's super important because the amount of funding that goes to childhood cancers is under 5%, and with the number of kids diagnosed, it just isn't enough.'
Fehr's son, Joshua, passed away just over ten years ago. She explained why it's important to keep researching Childhood Cancers.
"We're giving kids chemo that adults are getting, some of them at the same strength that adults are getting, and we just need more research and more awareness to what Childhood Cancer is, this turns out to be more funding in the long term."
Fehr noted Childhood Cancer is a very difficult journey for families and kids to endure.
"So often, when we see anything about childhood cancer online or whatever, we see smiling faces, but behind closed doors, it's anything but that, because it's a lot of fear, screaming, and crying kids. Thankfully, we've come to a place now where testing can be done when the children are put to sleep. When our son Josh was diagnosed that wasn't the case," she recalled. "We had to be with him through his spinal taps while he was awake, and sometimes it would take 5 adults to hold him down and you could hear him screaming from across the hall and sometimes across the hospital. So, things have definitely gotten better, but we definitely need more awareness and more funding to help find better treatments or cure for Childhood Cancer."
Maryanne Giesbrecht, also, knows the journey all too well. Her son, Kadyn, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, after finding a lump on his neck. Within the week of his diagnosis, he was put on Chemotherapy Treatments. These treatments lasted 3 and a half years. Giesbrecht said they know they are fortunate that Kadyn, now fourteen, has been off treatment and Cancer-free, longer than he was in treatment.
Here is Maryanne Giesbrecht's full interview with Reporter Robyn Wiebe, sharing about Kadyn's journey, the people and organizations who made a difference and her gratitude for those walking through the journey with them.
Manitoba Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Group, Katie Cares, South Central Cancer Resource, and Canadian Blood Services are some organizations, Giesbrecht noted were instrumental in supporting Kadyn and his family.