When I was 11 months old I was rushed to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto in respiratory distress. They found a large mass wrapped around my spinal cord crushing my trachea, and I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma- cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. Back then Sick Kids was the only place in Ontario that kids with cancer could be treated. My parents were told the survival rate was 5%, and if I survived I would likely be paralyzed.
I received surgery and cobalt-60 (cobalt bomb) radiation therapy, and then was followed by the oncology team and many different specialists on the Sick Kids team until I graduated to after care at 18.
In the 45 years since my diagnosis, I have lost count of how many kids I know who have been treated, all or in part, there.
Research has come a long way in those years but we need more. We need better, safer, more effective treatments. Even the children who survive will face life long side effects from treatment. I am riding 500km to raise money to help further the great work Sick Kids is doing, and to allow even more kids to write stories like mine when they are well into adulthood. Anything helps, thank you!