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Jeffrey Chow - Toronto
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Jeffrey Chow

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Toronto ON
Canada

I also felt that I had to treat each day special and live it like my last. From this experience, I learned that you truly never know when it's your time so I believe appreciate the moments.

In the beginning, I thought it was just another flu. I felt tired, weak, but still, managed to attend school and hang out with friends. What confused my mother and I, is that the illness would come and go. It was quite elusive. We were in and out of hospitals, where I was receiving blood tests however the results we received back were negative. Around the second week, I started to develop bumps on my neck and behind my ears. It wasn't until the fourth week, where I was now completely bedridden. My exhausted mother decided to take me to a pediatrician. Once we arrived he took one look at me and advised us to walk over to the hospital which was right around the corner. I remember arriving at the lobby and immediately collapsing.

I woke up in a hospital bed with the doctor sitting beside me to tell me that I have been diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia(ALL). Most people have no idea what that means, especially a teenager. Looking back perhaps that lack of knowledge was positive cause I definitely wasn't aware of my journey ahead.

Once admitted to the Hospital for Sick Kids, the cancer cells had spread throughout most of my body. There were some nights the doctors and my family thought I was not going to make it. The beginning stages for me was definitely a battle for my mother and I.

With the support of family, doctors and the amazing nurses at HFSC, I was able to hold on and fight each day. Older than most kids that get admitted to Sick Kids, and seeing the younger children not understand their circumstance I felt the need to keep smiling and bring positivity to the environment. I tried to never lose my sense of humour. It helped me get through the long days of becoming ill to kill the illness.

My protocol took four years, visiting Hospital for Sick Kids daily and receiving intense chemotherapy and radiation. What kept me busy and my mind off the treatment was the DJ equipment that I was very fortunate to receive from A Children's Wish Foundation. I started djing and mc-ing which helped me begin a career in music and event coordination.

Very grateful but deeply confused I began remission just before I turned twenty. Over the years I developed a desire to meet new people and build relationships. I also felt that I had to treat each day special and live it like my last. From this experience, I learned that you truly never know when it's your time so I believe appreciate the moments.