3-year-old Benjamin is a funny and kind-hearted little boy, who is always making his family laugh.
On Saturday, July 30th, 2022, Benjamin woke up feeling ill. He was vomiting, very lethargic and clung to his mother, Sarah. Fearing the worst, Benjamin was rushed to an urgent care paediatric clinic, but the diagnosis was only a mild ear infection. Benjamin was given antibiotics and nausea medication, but little did they know that their journey was only just beginning.
For weeks, Benjamin and his family felt helpless as his symptoms intensified and they continued visiting the hospital only to receive wrong diagnoses. After these visits, Benjamin would bounce back for a few days, but then slowly lose energy. Sarah's heart broke as she watched her son's condition deteriorate.
Sarah managed to get an appointment with Benjamin’s paediatrician, and within a few minutes of examination, Sarah was urged to take him to a children’s hospital. She didn’t hesitate and drove him to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
There, Benjamin was given the diagnosis that would change his life forever - he had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
This brave boy's treatment plan included eight months of active treatment, followed by a prolonged phase of maintenance therapy. And so, Benjamin began his battle against cancer, enduring multiple rounds of chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, blood tests and surgery to insert a port in his chest.
The first two weeks were extremely tough for Benjamin. He hated the port under his skin, which was vital for administering medication. But with the kindness, support, and patience of the SickKids team, he gradually adjusted. During his hospital stays, Benjamin found solace in playing with his favourite stuffed animal, Monkey, making craft projects, and watching Paw Patrol.
The intense treatment took a heavy toll on Benjamin, who is usually an active and bubbly kid. However, as Benjamin enters the long-term maintenance phase of treatment, he is gradually returning to his cheerful self.
"The entire team at SickKids has made us feel heard and supported during the worst time of our life. The amount of support, kindness and knowledge really puts us as parents at ease knowing that Benjamin is receiving the best care in the world,” Sarah told us.
Benjamin, you are an incredibly resilient and courageous little man. We will be thinking of you as we ride this August to fight childhood cancer!