Jack Godefroy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2015. His mom Cheryl has seen first hand how Camp Quality helped Jack build confidence and independence, and how meeting other kids with similar experiences has positively impacted him. Jack is now cancer-free and thriving.
My son Jack was a normal 10-year old boy. He enjoyed playing hockey, downhill skiing, swimming, camping, hiking and playing with his friends.
Towards the end of Grade 5, Jack started having unexplained pains in his legs. He became very sad, tired, and was losing a lot of weight. Our family doctor ran some tests but couldn’t find anything wrong. He finished his school year and we planned lots of outdoor pursuits in an effort to boost his spirits. Nothing seemed to work.
The results of the biopsy confirmed our worst fears – Jack was battling high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This new world of cancer was absolutely terrifying. The days were filled with questions, surgeries and chemotherapy.
Jack spent a total of 1,222 days in treatment, receiving 122 chemotherapy injections and taking over 4,000 chemotherapy pills. This was not the life that we had envisioned for our precious son.
Although this journey has been so difficult, we have encountered many angels along the way. Some of these angels are the friends that we have met through Camp Quality.
Jack was first able to attend Camp Quality Alberta a couple of years ago. I will never forget picking him up from camp. The smile on his face was unbelievable.
He was partnered with companions Blake and Mackenzie and they were nothing short of amazing. Jack has often said that what makes Camp Quality so special is the extremely special friendships that form with the companions. It was so awesome to have a ‘best friend’ to hang out with all week. Based on the stories that we heard, it seems the second-best thing about Camp Quality is the food (AMAZING!) but Jack also loved time at the beach, hanging out at the basketball court and having fun on the zipline or the archery range.
Last summer, Jack was able to attend Camp Quality’s New Heights in Ontario. This special camp is just for teenagers and it is truly amazing! Jack was a little nervous before going to Ontario as it was a new experience and he didn’t know anyone. Six days later though, he returned to us as a confident and happy young man.
The first thing he said to us was – ‘I want to go back!’
He enjoyed the increased independence that was given at New Heights and found that because of it, the friendships that he made were so much stronger. He loved going to the beach where they played games, jumped off the dock and canoed on the lake. The teens spent a day at the KOA campground where they made tie-dye shirts and played with a big foam machine.
He told me that it was really special to be around other teens who really understood the language of cancer and what it was like to battle this devastating disease.
Cancer has changed our family and it has been challenging adjusting to our new normal. But we have met so many angels along the way who have completely changed our lives for the better. We count our friends at Camp Quality as some of these angels - they have eased some of the burden of this journey for us.
Camp Quality is a place where kids can go and forget about the cancer for a bit.
They can go and play in a safe and welcoming environment. We are extremely grateful that our Jack has been able to experience and create so many wonderful memories at Camp Quality!
Camp Quality Mom