Your support helps families across Ontario
Every day, POGO works with our partners—hospitals, families, survivors, donors, government, nonprofits and others—to champion childhood cancer care. This month, POGO Ambassador Sara Fransky is sharing her family’s childhood cancer journey to encourage donations to POGO’s holiday fundraising campaign that will help provide financial assistance to families with a child in cancer treatment.
When my daughter Stella was just 18 months old, she had a fever that would not go away. I brought her to the emergency department not expecting the news I was about to receive.
After a series of tests, Stella and I were in an ambulance rushing down the highway from Simcoe County to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. My husband Charles and Stella’s twin sister, Sophia, followed by car.
We arrived in Toronto at around 7 p.m. This was the very beginning of the COVID lockdowns and due to COVID safety protocols in place across the province, only one parent was allowed in the hospital. Charles spent the next several hours in the parking lot trying to keep Sophia distracted but also keep himself available for updates from me. Finally, at 11 p.m., with me at Stella’s side and Charles on speakerphone, we were told that our daughter had leukemia.
For the next month, one of us lived in a nearby hotel with Sophia and the other in the hospital with Stella. We would “change shifts” once a week at the door of the hospital—filling the other one in on Stella’s medical progress, eating habits and how she was holding up. It was physically and mentally exhausting to be the parent at the hospital and emotionally traumatic not to be.
Every year in Ontario there are close to 500 new childhood cancer diagnoses
Many of these families live far from one of Ontario’s five major hospitals with a pediatric cancer program. Your donation to POGO helps provide financial relief to families for things like accommodation, food and babysitting for siblings at home.
On behalf of all the families in 2022 who will hear the words, “Your child has cancer,” I would like to ask you to consider a donation to POGO to help ease the financial burden.
Thank you for your support!
There’s no time like now to show your support for children and youth in cancer treatment. Here are a few ways you can champion childhood cancer care:
- Join our online community; receive our quarterly newsletter and other news!
- Watch and share compelling videos of families’ experience with childhood cancer.
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Donate before December 31st to receive a 2021 charitable tax receipt.