Willem about Leucan

WP: Leucan is an organization that gives families a chance to rest when so many difficult things happen at once.

About the services

Emotional assistance and support

Nelson: After the diagnosis, the welcome and support advisor of Leucan introduced herself. It was a very professional first contact. She inspired a sense of trust.

Caroline: Leucan reminded us that we were not alone and that people were there to help us navigate through this new reality and to listen to us.

Socio-recreational activities

Caroline: The first activity we took part in was the Christmas party. It gave us the opportunity to meet other “local” families from our area. Meeting with other parents was very helpful in understanding and validating my thoughts and experiences.

Financial assistance

Caroline: Yes, there is certain gratuitousness to healthcare, but it does not cover everything. Often a parent, even both parents, cannot continue to work. It’s an unparalleled stress level. 

Massage therapy

Caroline: For two and a half months, Willem underwent conventional chemotherapy and had to take a large quantity of steroids. For him, the pains were atrocious. We had a massage therapist coming at home and his services were extremely important. Medication was not effective for his pain, but massages were. We eagerly awaited the therapist’s visits. 

Research funding

Caroline: The experimental treatment currently followed by Willem is actually making his brain tumour disappear! So it should be understood that the therapy is effective. We are still in the midst of the process because we’re taking part in a study and Willem is among the first group of patients testing out this treatment. We don’t know what will happen once the medication stops… Research is thus extremely important for us so that an effective cure can be found. For the time being, we cannot think about recovery because a cure does not yet exist.

Nelson: Research must be prioritized so that we can escape the grey areas.

School awareness

Caroline: When your child is diagnosed with cancer, the last thing on your mind is the possibility that he could be bullied. That’s unfortunately what happened to Willem. He gained weight because of the treatments and received insults because of his physical appearance. So a facilitator from Leucan and a nurse from the CHEO visited his class to raise awareness about his cancer. We really felt a difference after that. It’s also important for the other children because knowledge reduces stress; they’re afraid it might happen to them and are also scared for Willem.

How Caroline, Nelson and Willem give back to Leucan

Leucan Shaved Head Challenge, 2016 edition

Nelson: We actively take part in the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge because Willem wanted to do it. It’s his third year doing it and it’s important for him to help other children.

Willem: Leucan plays a very important role in my life and in the life of my family. Without Leucan, I’d be like a little fish swimming in a sea of hunting sharks. 

Willem was a child spokesperson for the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge in the Outaouais region in 2016.

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