My name is Jacob and I am 16 years old. When I was in my first year of high school I came home from a day at school and half my face was severely paralyzed. My family and I were soon informed that they had found a tumour in my chest and I was diagnosed with an aggressive T-cell Leukaemia. As a result of being sick, I had to leave my first year of high school only six weeks in.
When I first fell sick I was very sad and scared. A lot changed in my life, on top of having to leave all my friends behind at school I also had to quit my passion, hockey. Hockey has always been my favourite sport but when you get sick, like how I did, you often have to push sports aside.
When you are diagnosed with something like Leukaemia you need to stay strong, you need to make the best of it, and you need to stay positive. Which is easier said than done. But, for me, two things have helped me with that. Even though I couldn’t play hockey physically, the sport still really helped keep my spirits up. It kept me strong. My family also helped me a lot; they were always and continue to be very supportive which really makes you know you are not alone in your battle, whatever it may be.
I returned back to school for grade 8 – although unfortunately I never got to return back to hockey. Over my time in and out of the hospital I have realized how important it is to not take life for granted. It can easily be changed and even taken away. That is why I have helped raise money and donated as much as I can. Throughout my journey my family, friends, and even friends of friends have gone out of their way to support and donate funds to the Montreal Children’s Hospital under my name. This is something I truly appreciate.
Today, I am 16 and I am currently in grade 10 BUT, most importantly I am 20 days (as of February 16th, 2016) free of my battle from Leukaemia and I am positive.