Keiran Freitas was two years old when he was diagnosed with a form of liver cancer, and his family is one of hundreds supported by Childcan.
“My heart sank to be honest with you, and it was terrifying,” his mom Liz Freitas says of the diagnosis.
Not only was the cancer in his liver it had also made its way to Keiran’s lungs
“We were cancer-free for four to five months and then he had a relapse in his lungs,” says Liz. “In January of this year with COVID, COVID started and January we found out we needed surgery and removed the upper left lobe of his lung.”
With surgeries and various forms of chemotherapy the family is hopeful that Keiran is out of the woods.
“The markers they use for this type of cancer, which is AFP level, those counts have been the lowest they have ever been so right now we are just holding onto that,” says his dad Jeff Freitas.
The family is one of hundreds in our region that currently are receiving support from Childcan, an organization that helps families through their childhood cancer journey.
“Receiving a diagnosis of childhood cancer is really very devastating emotionally, but also financially, and many people don’t realize the out-of-pocket costs that families face at a time they are typically off work,” says Kathleen Barnard, executive director of Childcan.
With so much money needed to support the families, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is in September, is when Childcan does its most fundraising. This year however, is a little different with COVID-19.
“We can’t have in-person events and we really do rely on those, both our own events and those members of the community organize for us,” says Barnard. “We are going to be much more reliant on individual donations, foundation donations and grants.”
The Childcan team will still hold its annual walk and run called 10,000 paces for 10,000 faces. It will be a virtual event on Saturday, Sept. 26.
More info can be found on the Chlidcan website.