Julia was our little sister. We were six and four years old, so we were quite a bit older than her. We also have an older sister, so we are all fairly spread out. She was the baby of the family. She was a little bit stubborn, a little bit bossy (actually, a lot bossy). But she was awesome. She was always open to anything – if we went to play hockey, she’d come too. She was just like that.
Like all great western tales, it began with a wager at a local watering hole. A leather-clad biker anmed Dirtdog bet a good ol’ cowboy that he could raise more money by bartending. The cowboy took the bet and the challenge was on. That first weekend the cowboy and his friends tended bar and the weekend after, the biker and his crew.
Our son Ryan was almost two, when he was diagnosed with a brain stem cancer. This is the worst possible place for a tumour and it was inoperable. After meeting with his oncologist, Paul and I learned that Ryan had only weeks to live.
They called him the Polish Prince at the hospital and, with a name like Zukowski, it’s not hard to imagine why. But Joel’s nickname originated from something more profound than a surname. The nurses and doctors called him the Polish Prince because, for a 10-year-old boy, Joel exhibited uncommon valor in the face of cancer.
One of Kids Cancer Care’s first signature events was the Golf a Kid to Camp tournament. Don, Joanne and the Coach came on board a couple years into the tournament and asked how they could help. Their station and the radio hosts helped take the tournament to the successful event is it today.
In December 2013, my son Marshall was just about two when he came down with a cold that just wouldn’t go away. Then one day in early January, he went down for a nap and woke up with a red eye. I wasn’t sure what it was, so I called Health Link. They said to monitor him and if it got worse to take him to a walk-in clinic. Well, sure enough, it got worse.