Allan’s Waves of Love
“Another scary seizure happened while Allan was spending quality time with his big brother, Christian, watching a movie, while I was working an overnight shift as a personal support worker (PSW). An ambulance was called. Allan’s blood pressure skyrocketed. He got very scared and didn’t want to come home from SickKids Hospital, so he stayed for another three days, until he was ready to come home. This was the first time that I saw Allan crying so hard, very scared and anxiously worried. He wanted to see all of our family and his friends, because he thought that he would be leaving us at that time.”
Allan’s mom, Jessielyn, recounts her teen son’s journey with childhood cancer. At sixteen years of age, Allan had already survived cancer treatment for his knee, and had amazed his rehabilitation team with what he was able to do on his leg after surgery. … But later, three types of cancer cells were found in his brain.
Allan kept his smile, his faith, and a brave face, but when his seizures escalated, he wanted his mom and brother to be with him all the time. That night, his mom took a leave of absence from two jobs to be at his side. There were highs and lows along the cancer journey – kayaking, canoeing, brain radiation, chemo, big birthday parties and celebrations with friends – until the chemo and radiation did not work.
When the time came for palliative care, Allan’s brother Christian checked out Emily’s House children’s hospice, as recommended by the team of doctors, and persuaded Allan to go. Their mom shares: “We were greeted and accepted with open arms, like their own family at Emily’s House. Allan’s beautiful and awesome community formed as family. Everything was like a real family. We received so much love, support and understanding at every step of the way.”
At Emily’s House, with his mom and brother by his side, Allan received daily visits from family, friends and faculty from his high school, swim teammates, and the guys from the mechanic shop where he did his student co-op placement. His entire community of support was welcomed, and continued to grow….
While living at Emily’s House, Allan made new friends with other patients, like Tanika, who was wait-listed for a double-lung transplant. Part of the hospice experience is making the most of the moments available, embracing quality of life, and having some normal kid fun. Among many fun recreational play moments, Allan and Tanika enjoyed local excursions and a dress-up, unicorn tea party. He made the most of each day until: “Allan gained his Angel Wings peacefully with a smile, surrounded by family, friends and almost all of Allan’s Community.”
Our hospice programs also provide support for families, as Allan’s brother Christian wrote: “In my family’s moments of grief and difficulty, the Emily’s House community and staff turned our last month with Allan into a time of healing and acceptance. Still to this day, a hole is in our hearts for the loss of my brother, but without the help of Emily’s house, it’d be much, much bigger. They are now an extension of our family.”
Allan’s family and friends continue to fundraise to celebrate his memory.
“My family and I want to give as many families and their children the comfort and care we received through our most troubling times, and a chance to feel the love they gave us. Allan would want us to spread more waves of love!”
To donate to Allan’s Waves of Love: Click Here