As a pediatric oncology patient, Carly knows first-hand the impact that giving back can have. Two years ago when she learned that she had leukemia, her treatments kept her in the hospital for several months. Travelling between the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario – Kingston General Hospital site and Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, she missed home, family and her regular activities.
When she was finally well enough to return home, she walked through her front door to discover a present waiting for her from the Shine Through the Rain Foundation. Inside the present were activity books and crafts to help keep her busy as she continued through her treatment.
“Receiving those gifts made me feel normal again and helped me feel like I could tackle anything,” says Carly.
When she asked her Mom how these gifts were made possible, she learned that it was because people had donated money to the organization, which helped them purchase the gifts for Carly.
This sparked a desire in Carly to do the same for other kids and families who were going through a situation like her own.
“I decided that I wanted to give back and make something good come out of a horrible situation,” says Carly.
With the help of her family, Carly began making and selling suckers with the words “Cancer Sucks” on them. Through craft sales, grocery store visits and community support, this year Carly was able to raise over $3,500 that will be going to support the Children’s Cancer Fund for the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario.
During their time at the Cancer Centre, Carly and her family have gotten to know many of the other children, families and care team members who work here. Selling suckers has helped Carly and her family say ‘Thank You’ and make a positive impact for the people they have met throughout her journey.
“I hope through this work that I will be able to make a lot of the other kids here feel better, I just want good things for them,” says Carly.