Dartmouth NS

My cancer experience has really made me more empathetic overall.

Hi there! My name is Katie. I am a survivor of a blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I was diagnosed at 2 years old and finally went into remission when I was 5. For my parents, I know it was incredibly frustrating. They told me they had to really fight with doctors to actually get my diagnosis because at the time, my medical team was not convinced that my symptoms were consistent with a cancer diagnosis.

When I was tested, it became apparent that something serious was going on. While I do not remember a lot about my battle against cancer, there are small pieces that I do remember. All of my memories are of the good days and how everyone around me tailored care to my age to make sure that I was not scared during my time in the hospital.

My cancer experience has really made me more empathetic overall. Knowing that I had cancer, I have a lot of compassion for people who receive any type of diagnosis. It's a big reason why I am going into social work and hope to work in a children's hospital to help kids like me!

Growing up, I was always involved in fundraisers. When I found out about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night, and that it raised money for blood cancers which is so personal to me, it made it an easy decision to get involved. I also volunteered in the Halifax office with the Atlantic Region staff, and always heard them talking about it, so that also helped! It's a community. It's nice when a group of like-minded people come together, in a space that's safe and supportive. It's so much fun. I also work for a great company, and they all came to support me at the event. It just meant a lot to me.

It's such a great opportunity to raise a lot of money for important research and programs. It's also nice that it can be something we can do year round. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to raise a lot of money. Once you have been to the event, people really get it and understand the importance of what it means.

I’ve recently joined the LLSC’s First Connection program with the hope of being helpful to someone currently fighting their own cancer battle. I like to be able to help people through hard times by being an objective person to talk to.