Windsor Regional Hospital Marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Windsor Regional Hospital is marking Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Information booths have been set up at the Met Campus to raise awareness of some of the agencies and programs in Windsor to help families dealing with a childhood cancer.

Dereck Lau, 13,  was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 10.  He went through 30-days of radiation followed by nine months of chemotherapy.

Today, Dereck is cancer-free.

Dereck's mother Rory Lau says it was a tough journey.

"Everyone says oh everybody is so strong, the parents, you don't have a choice to be strong, everyone has the strength, you just have to find it within yourself," says Lau.

Dereck Lau says his mom and dad told him the news shortly after this birthday three years ago.

"I didn't know how I felt, I felt everything at once, fear, anger and felt sad."

He described the radiation as smelling like ozone.  "Some people can smell it, some people can't and it is not even a smell, you can't get rid of it by plugging your nose, it is always there."

Lau went through three types of chemotherapy, some with minimal side effects, while others left him in bed for days.

Rory Lau says there needs to be more funding for childhood cancer research which only gets a fraction (4%) of the total cancer research funding.

This year, there are 60 young patients being treated at the met campus paediatric oncology clinic.

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An information booth at Windsor Regional Hospital's met campus. September 12, 2017 (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)

One program aimed at helping children is the "Beads of Courage" program which provides children the opportunity to earn a bead for each accomplishment they achieve.  

Child Life Specialist Jen Burton-Liang says the beads act like a "visual story of what the kids go through."