One day and everything changes

One quiet morning in 2020, Sophie wakes up and goes to kiss her son, Jayden, then 17 months old, as she does every morning. And like every night, she plans to kiss him goodnight. But that day, everything changed. Sophie discovered little red spots on Jayden’s body. A few hours later, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Sophie kisses him in the evening, her love for him remains but nothing is the same anymore.

3 hours in an ambulance

When Sophie brought Jayden to the hospital near their home in Mont-Laurier to have his red spots examined, there was no indication that it was cancer. After taking blood tests, the doctors were concerned and asked for an ambulance to take them to CHU Sainte-Justine.

In that ambulance, Sophie was worried and didn’t quite realize what they may discover at Sainte-Justine. During those three hours, she thought about the future of her child and her family.

“We arrive at the hospital in Mont-Laurier at 9 a.m., we are in the ambulance at 7 p.m. Then, once we arrived at Sainte-Justine, it was test after test. When they confirmed the diagnosis, about 90% of his blood was made up of cancerous cells. It was time we found out.” Everything changed for Jayden and his family. Treated for stage 3 cancer, he responded well to treatment. After a month, the doctors decided to classify him as stage 2.

“Everything is different. You see life differently. You see that it’s fragile too. Without research, the survival rate for Jayden’s leukemia wouldn’t be as high.”

A battle that takes a lot

Between Mont-Laurier and Montreal, life is complicated for the family. Both in the commute and in the financial cost of cancer. Maintaining a balanced family life and accessing care is expensive. “To bring Jayden to Montreal, I calculated how much it would cost us. Travel is $1,200 a month. It’s like a second mortgage.

If the first few weeks were complicated, Sophie and her husband have managed to build a stable framework over the past year and a half to accompany Jayden in his fight against the disease.

“We didn’t know how to do it at first. You fall apart. I didn’t understand anything, I trusted the doctors. You sign the paperwork, everything moves fast. It takes several days before you realize what’s going on. Leucan helped us with the sick leave and to find our bearings in the storm.”

Leucan is there to support, comfort and guide

Since the diagnosis, the family has benefited from Leucan’s help to accompany Jayden in his journey with the disease. Massage therapy, psychosocial support and financial assistance help ease the family’s suffering. Sharing, listening and support were fundamental in allowing the family to overcome this ordeal with their child.

“The Leucan advisor always asks me if I need anything for Jayden or the family. If I have a question, I can ask her. We also talk to other families, we try to understand what works and what doesn’t. It’s good to be able to talk about it. It’s good to be able to talk about it with others who are also going through it. To see that we are not alone in this.”

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