Each year, about 1,500 children and teens in Canada are diagnosed with cancer – cancer is the leading cause of death due to disease in kids.
In Alberta, about 150 of those children are diagnosed every year.
At four years old, our son Foster, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. It was an unexpected diagnosis that required an immediate admission to the hospital for weeks to start his 3.5 year treatment. We had not prepared for the heart-wrenching and life-altering diagnosis. We had only our wallets, phone and the clothes on our backs. This is like the majority of families when you are told the unthinkable....your child has cancer.
We didn't want to leave our son's side for a moment during those first terrifying weeks of treatment. We lived very close to the hospital but there was no way we were going to leave his bedside.
That is when a care package from a friend was delivered during those difficult first days upon diagnosis. It brought us a much needed distraction that was filled with helpful and useful items but the sense that we were not as alone as we thought.
We knew immediately that we wanted to extend the same thoughtful generosity and support to other families upon diagnosis of their child. Not all families have a support system or live near their hospital. Some families are immediately placed in an ambulance or Stars helicopter for transfer hundreds of kilometers away to the children's hospital, with only what they had with them at the time of diagnosis. Fostership delivers to the Calgary area but we have the hopes to extend that delivery area in the future.
“Fostership” is about fostering kindness, extending support, developing relationships, sharing resources, providing essentials, and most important of all, reaching out with understanding to families during a difficult time.
"A Facebook support group put together for ACH Momcologists to be able to have casual conversation, insight from our experiences, bonding, some tears, laughter but always love. We are all in different places on the timeline from diagnosis and would love a safe place to share our stories, help each other up when needed and connect. "