It’s tough enough to have a sick child; it’s even tougher to know you can’t provide for them.
Within days of my son Simon’s diagnosis, I went from managing to support my four children on a dental hygienist’s salary to being a mom forced to stop working, relying on handouts.
But thanks to generous people like you, I have been able to maintain a sense of dignity while putting all of my energy where it’s needed most: helping Simon face the fight of his life.
It all started when Simon began complaining about his headaches. They were getting worse. Even after several visits to the clinic no one could tell me what was wrong with my 10-year-old son.
One night, Simon grabbed his head with both hands and screamed: “My head is exploding!” We knew we had to go to the ER. He was scared, and I was too.I had a feeling we wouldn’t be leaving the hospital, and I was right.
At 1:00 a.m. we met with the pediatrician to discuss the results of Simon’s blood test. It was leukemia. I didn’t want Simon to see how upset I was, so I ran into the hallway and collapsed in tears.
Cancer sends shockwaves through a family. I had to ask Simon’s siblings to spend more time at their dad’s while he and I weathered the storm. “Losing” their mother was hard on them, especially my 7-year-old. How could I make her understand that her brother was the priority? That he couldn’t take the risk of catching a virus?
Each week I was driving Simon to and from the Children’s at least once, which is a 210 km journey. On top of gas, I also had to pay for parking. As you can imagine, the bills added up fast.
To help make ends meet, I started using the money I had set aside for things like clothes or tire changes. I did receive EI benefits for parents of critically ill children, but that only covered 35 of the 54 weeks our lives were put on hold…
Luckily, you were there for me.
Thanks to your donations to the Tiny Tim Fund, I was able to make it through!
Whenever I felt overwhelmed, your support made all the difference. Thanks to you, my rent was paid. You covered the cost of parking my car at the hospital. And I received gift cards for groceries. Like my family and friends, you were there for me so that I could be there for Simon.
I can’t count the number of times Simon threw up in the car on the way home from the hospital, or was so discouraged he didn’t want to take his pills or have his blood drawn. As a parent, you have to stay strong and be firm with your child, even when you can see he’s suffering. You do it because you trust the experts at the Children’s, and because you just can’t give up.
We still have two years ahead of us before we can declare victory. Simon is now receiving daily chemo treatments at home. He started playing hockey again. I’ve gone back to work, but only part time, because we still have regular treatments at the Children’s. Each time we go, I worry we’ll get bad news.
While your donations can’t make all our worries disappear, they do relieve the anxiety that I won’t be able to feed my kids or pay my bills. And that takes an enormous load off my shoulders.
This holiday season, please consider helping families like mine who are struggling to make ends meet. Believe me, to us, there’s no such thing as a small donation. Knowing that people like you are there gives us the strength to roll up our sleeves and hope for a better tomorrow.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Caroline, Simon’s mom