Overview of the current situation of cancer-stricken children after remission

Leucan marks the International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day

MONTREAL, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Leucan is taking the opportunity of the International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, this Sunday, February 15, to address the often difficult reality of young cancer survivors.

In the province of Quebec, approximately one family is affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis every day. Thanks notably to Leucan, the main funder of clinical research in pediatric oncology, the survival rate for all childhood cancers has jumped from 15% to 82%. However, treatments are more invasive and can cause serious and often permanent side effects, which means that several Leucan young members must live with sequelae after their treatments.

Mathis Lafrenière is eleven years old. He was diagnosed with cerebellum cancer in 2013. "However, as soon as he woke up from surgery, he had to cope with paralysis in his left arm and leg. As a result, he has to learn to walk again and he cannot use his arm with the same precision as before. The powerful treatments used also have a serious impact on his brain and auditory functions. His capacity to retain new information is affected and it's more difficult for him to focus," explains Mathis' mother, Nadia. "I could sense I was different from everyone else and that was the hardest part," says young Mathis. "In January 2014, Mathis set aside his wheelchair and started to walk again. Even though he still has to work on his gait and balance, he can gradually get back to his normal activities, including wheelchair basketball. Every step, however small, is a huge achievement for Mathis and his self-confidence. He savours every victory!" concludes Nadia.

In the same breath, Leucan strives to be there to contribute to those small victories and support cancer-stricken children in their daily lives both during and post treatments. Various programs have been introduced, including an extensive school awareness program to help young people pursue their academic goals despite the sequelae. Nevertheless, the needs of youths suffering sequelae continue to grow. For this reason, Leucan requires the public's support to ensure a greater presence in this sector and provide those children with adequate services. To join Leucan's extended family of donors, please visit http://www.leucan.qc.ca/en.

About Leucan
For more than 35 years, Leucan has been supporting cancer-stricken children and their families. As a loyal ally of hundreds of families and thousands of members across Quebec, the Association provides specific and personalized services to its members, in addition to funding clinical research. Leucan's skilled staff developed a cutting edge expertise in the following areas: support and emotional assistance; financial assistance; referral services; massage therapy; hosting in hospital playrooms; socio-recreational activities;school awareness; end-of-life and bereavement follow-up services; support to cured patients; and the Leucan Information Centre. With its many offices, Leucan is present throughout Quebec.



For further information: Guillaume Rivest, Communications and Social Media Adviser, Leucan, 514-731-3696, ext. 203, guillaume.rivest@leucan.qc.ca


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