A little lift when they need it most
Lily-Jade and her parents are inseparable. They go everywhere together. It’s the strength of their family bond that gets them through the toughest times.
“We’re together all the time; the three of us – we’re never apart,” says Caroline, Lily-Jade’s mom. The Quebec family’s favourite place to make happy memories is the local zoo. But at just two years old, Lily-Jade also has scary memories of the countless hours she has spent in hospital.
Lily-Jade came into the world with Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. She is followed closely by a team of pediatric specialists at the CHU de Quebec in Quebec City. One aggressive tumor on the calf of her leg attacked a nerve, which has left Lily-Jade with a foot drop. Today, her left foot is considerably smaller than her right.
“She will always have to wear a brace on her leg. It’s a permanent reminder of her illness,” says Caroline, she herself fighting a battle with cancer following a recent diagnosis.
Since the day Lily-Jade was born, the family has been on the road, traveling back and forth from their home in the Beauport region of Quebec City to the hospital in Laval for regular medical appointments. Caroline feels lucky to be able to lean on the Irving Oil Fuel the Care program, which offsets travel costs and helps her family focus on what really matters.
“It helps enormously, especially since I’m sick as well. The extra fuel in our tank for Lily-Jade’s medical appointments means that we can spend our dollars doing other things together – like going to the zoo! We wouldn’t be able to afford this without the help of the cards,” Caroline says.
Today, Lily-Jade is your average toddler – active, happy, clever. Caroline says her daughter barely notices her leg brace and doesn’t view herself any differently than anyone else. After undergoing multiple procedures and specialized treatments, a recent scan shows that Lily-Jade’s tumors are now completely gone.
“I don’t know how she did it,” says Caroline. “She’s a true champion.”
Until Caroline can say the same about her own cancer diagnosis, the family will continue to find strength and comfort in their special bond, and make happy memories together.