One journey ends and another begins
Fourteen years ago, at the age of seven, Jayden received his first dose of chemotherapy. His leukemia diagnosis meant leaping into an intense treatment plan for over eight months of his young life. He braved the common side effects of the treatment and, to everyone’s amazement, was in remission within only two weeks.
With most of the pokes for blood work, chemotherapy and lumbar punctures behind him, Jayden finished the last phase of his treatment in October 2011. Care teams continued to see Jayden for regular check-ups with nurses and doctors who had quickly become family during his time in hospital.
The end of Jayden’s journey meant the beginning of a new relationship with the hospital. It was at the height of her son’s treatments at BC Children’s Hospital that Jayden’s mother, Evelyn, made the decision to become a monthly donor. “Being a patient really opened our eyes more to the experiences kids and families go through,” says Evelyn. “I feel very grateful to be in a place that we can support such an amazing hospital that we were receiving so much from. The doctors, nurses and the staff … everybody was such a tremendous help.”
In addition to the past 14 years of support as a monthly donor, the family found new ways to get involved with the hospital community and their supporters. Jayden, Evelyn and their family dove into events such as RBC Race for the Kids and met many other families facing similar journeys in the oncology ward.
It was a great way to get involved in activities to keep Jayden’s spirits high and to meet others going through similar experiences. “I was inspired by other families who were dedicating and devoting their time and energy to helping the hospital,” says Evelyn.
Today, Jayden is 20 years old and is currently finishing his third year in the University of British Columbia’s Behavioural Neuroscience program. It has been many years since his time as a patient at BC Children’s Hospital, but Evelyn knows that many kids are still in the middle of their battle. “I always remind myself how grateful we are, now that Jayden is healed, but there are still so many who need the help,” says Evelyn. “I want to do my part, just wherever I can.”