At seven years old, Ben was full of energy—always running, playing, and exploring the world around him. He loved school so he could see his friends to learn and laugh together. Ben never tired. He was always ready for an adventure.
It wasn’t until his parents were away on vacation that his mother noticed a change in Ben. She and her husband greeted their son on FaceTime, and she noticed his pale complexion. Her intuition kicked in, and they urged his grandmother to go with him to the hospital. A kind-hearted neighbour agreed to drive them to the nearest medical centre, Peel Memorial Hospital.
Hours of bloodwork felt like an eternity for the family. The emergency physician joined the family on FaceTime to share the results. Ben was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
Ben’s symptoms became more obvious with time—long nosebleeds, random bruises, unrelenting paleness, fever, joint and bone pain, and a lack of energy he never experienced before. His journey was intense, including 12 rounds of lumbar punctures, 18 blood transfusions, including platelets and red blood cells, three X-rays, and countless needle pricks. Ben was in and out of the hospital for 10 difficult months, facing intense waves of chemotherapy—a treatment meant to heal him, but it had debilitating side effects.
Chemotherapy left Ben with sore muscles, lightheadedness, bouts of vomiting, dizziness, and piercing headaches. His moods swung wildly from anger to sadness and unhappiness. Platelet transfusions also triggered allergic reactions that manifested as hives, swollen lips, and an itchy throat. Meanwhile, his hair loss, which Ben says is the least of his worries, is just a constant reminder of his battle.
Yet, Ben never felt alone—especially with his sister always by his side. Support continues to pour in from friends, classmates, and teachers. They rally around him, offering love, prayers, and unwavering encouragement.
Today, although Ben's life has forever changed, he remains unbroken—a testament to the power of love, faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Each month, Childhood Cancer Canada honours a hero. If you would like to share your hero's story, please reach out to [email protected].