I speak english
62 years old
My child participated: 14 to 18 years old
When my child took part in the expedition, he was: in remission
My son had an aggressive form of leukemia. He was diagnosed when he was eight and was in treatment until he was 12, a very long time when you’re a child.
What were your fears or your doubts when we offered your adolescent to take part in an expedition with us?
Yes I was a little bit scared when my son set out for this expedition. I was worried about him getting sick or hurt, but also a little bit worried about the level of skill he might need for this canoe trip. Another thing that also made me nervous was that he had to travel from Winnipeg to Montreal by himself with a stopover in Toronto. Turns out I didn’t need to worry. He loved it. He was trained well, and there were medical people around.
Tell us about the reunion with your adolescent at the end of the expedition.
There are not a lot of good things that go along with getting childhood leukaemia but there are some special moments along the way. I also know that it really did help my son to speak to other kids who are going through or who had gone through a cancer diagnosis. A big part of these camps for cancer kids is the natural peer counselling that happens. He came back full of joy in life and excited to tell us about this adventure.
What benefits did you get from the experience with the foundation and/or what benefits do you think your adolescent took back from it?
There’s no doubt that this trip gave my son a new level of confidence. Having childhood cancer makes you overly reliant on your parents and I think it might make a kid aware of the preciousness of life at a young age. Going on a big trip by yourself, succeeding and having fun; all of these were very important after going through the cancer journey. It also allowed him to use his French and I know he made friends that he kept in contact with for a while through social media. It was a very positive experience for the whole family.