Giving back gives Cédrik hope

My name is Cédrik. I am 14 years old and in grade 8 at Collège Ste-Anne de Lachine. I like to snowboard, eat pizza, and play Xbox. I am sharing my story to help kids like me, who are fighting cancer or other illnesses.

On February 9, 2011, my mom took me to the hospital because my bladder was obstructed. I was in so much pain. They unblocked my bladder but it still hurt. Doctors did an ultrasound and decided to send me to The Montreal Children's Hospital immediately. I didn’t know what was wrong and I was very scared.

When we got to The Children's, I learned that I had a tumour on my left kidney. I was scanned and tested, and scheduled for emergency surgery the next morning. There were psychologists to help me cope with learning that I had cancer.

A week later I had another surgery to remove my appendix. I started chemotherapy and radiation therapy. For the following months, I spent a lot of time in hospital. I felt so sick at first that I never wanted to leave my bed. I stayed in my room, and must have watched 200 movies. I didn't want to eat, drink, take pills, or talk to anyone. I lost about 25 lbs and I didn’t want to see my mom and dad because I thought it would make them too sad to see how much I had changed.

One day a child life worker came into my room and forced me to get up and walk around. She brought me to the playroom on the eighth floor and for the first time I met other kids with cancer. I made friends and after that I decided to get out of my room and talk to people. It helped me feel better. It's hard to believe, but I even started to feel lucky. I saw other kids who were sicker than me - kids with bone cancer, leukemia, and a brain tumour. One of the friends I made was too sick to leave his room. We talked through a phone on the wall and saw each other through the window to his room. He later passed away. I miss him a lot and I still sometimes cry when I think about him.

On August 24, I finished my chemotherapy and I told my mom that I wanted to do something one day, when I’m an adult, to help sick kids. When I started slowly going back to school I got my classmates to do a run to help the Foundation. It felt great! We raised over $2000 and I got a call from the Foundation asking if I would be the spokesperson for this year's edition of Pedal for Kids, a big fundraising event in June. I said yes right away. My chance to help had come sooner than I expected.

I was ready to go back to school full time this winter when I got some bad news. A scan showed lesions in my lungs and they are progressing. After being in remission for several months I have to face another six months of chemotherapy. I cried when I first learned the news, but now I have accepted it. I am a lot stronger than I was a year ago; I have learned how important it is to have hope.

This time, I want to stay in school at least part time and continue helping the Foundation when I can. I am going to ask my friends at school to support me by raising money for Pedal for Kids.

Thank you for supporting the Foundation. I have seen the difference your donations have made on the oncology ward. As I get ready to spend more time at The Children's, I am glad to know that so many people are behind me, giving me strength and most importantly, hope.

© 2018 The Montreal
Children’s Hospital Foundation

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