Laura & Brennan

Brennan’s mother, Laura, describes her son’s diagnosis:

In February 2012, Brennan was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).  After noticing considerable changes in Brennan – including loss of appetite, decreased energy, weight loss, and pain – my husband and I decided to take him into the ER at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, expecting to hear that Brennan contracted the flu.  There were enough red flags telling us that Brennan was certainly not feeling well, but the diagnosis to come was an absolute shock!  After spending the night in the hospital, we were rushed to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, where Brennan would receive several more blood tests to confirm his type of cancer. 

After coming to terms with the awful news, my husband and I were about to face another challenge – finances.  Due to lack of employment in Sydney, I became a stay-at-home mom, which meant there was only one income.  Due to Brennan's monthly chemotherapy treatments, we were put into a situation where we had to buy a car and begin traveling between Sydney and Halifax.

When you begin caring for a sick child, the cost of raising that child increases significantly. When we began budgeting for these new road trips (five hours one way!) we realized we needed some help.  Our social worker graciously told us about the Irving Oil program, "Fuel the Care," which immediately alleviated some of the additional stress.  One less financial burden made all of the other stresses seem more manageable.  People are unable to budget in advance for tragedies like these, so when you're facing a difficult journey with limited finances, you need all the help you can get.