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During the holidays and throughout the year, we're here for you

04 December 2015

When Kelly Tugnett’s 6-month-old son was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Eve 3 years ago, she felt like the world had fallen out from under her feet.Kelly and Jaxson

In early December, Jaxson was crying and writhing in pain. Doctors suspected a hernia. But on December 24, Jaxson’s condition landed him in the emergency room at Sick Kids Hospital. Later that day, Jaxson was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma – a soft tissue cancer found in children.

Doctors prescribed 43 weeks of chemotherapy to shrink Jaxson’s tumour and then surgery to remove it. Kelly was able to use the Society’s Wheels of Hope transportation service to take Jaxson from Whitby to Toronto for his treatments.

“As a single mom without a driver’s licence, I couldn’t fathom having to take my sick little boy on public transit to get him to the treatment he needed to save his life. Needless to say, Wheels of Hope took a tremendous weight off my shoulders.”

Almost a year after Jaxson’s diagnosis, the doctors declared him cancer-free, making the holidays a bittersweet time for Kelly.The Canadian Cancer Society offers a variety of services during the holidays and throughout the year for people with cancer, their families and those who may be facing a cancer diagnosis. On December 7 at 6 p.m. ET, our online community CancerConnection.ca will be hosting a webcast – Coping with Cancer during the Holidays. Three storytellers will share their experiences with cancer during the holidays, and participants can join the conversation by asking questions and sharing advice. Elaine Rapp, a social worker from Sunnybrook, will also be sharing tips and strategies for coping with cancer during the holidays.

Register for the CancerConnection webcast.

After the live webcast, it will be available for on-demand viewing on CancerConnection.ca.

Tips for coping during the holiday season:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Support from family and friends can give comfort, and they may have good ideas for how to manage stress and practical concerns.
  • Regular family meetings are a good way for families to keep up with what’s going on with everyone – to talk about anything that’s bothering them, to prepare for upcoming events and to plan or spend time with each other.
  • Be flexible. Even if plans have been made, you may have to reschedule or change them depending on how you or your loved one is feeling that day.
We’re here for you during the holidays and throughout the year. Learn more about our support and services or call 1-888-939-3333 to speak with a cancer information specialist.