The History of the R.O.C.K.
On September 1, 2002, my wife Lori awoke with a 'funny feeling' that she should take our two year old daughter Sammy to the hospital. She had recently recovered from a normal chest cold, but sometimes her breathing was still laboured. Three hours later, we were being sent to Victoria Hospital in London to see a specialist. Hours later, we were being told that she had a tumour the size of a grapefruit in her tiny chest; her right lung was collapsed and her trachea was pushed to one side.
She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, but her chances for complete recovery were very high. Sammy amazed all her doctors and nurses and handled the chemotherapy like a champ. Unfortunately, so did her cancer; her chemo protocol failed and three weeks before Christmas, the tumour had regained its size. She was re-admitted and my family went for bone marrow testing; without a transplant she was on borrowed time. Another, more intense, round of chemo began, taking her to the edge of death, in hopes of killing the cancer before transplant. Luckily, her identical twin sister, Vicky, and older brother Noah were both perfect matches. My son was selected, and we were moved to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children for transplant.
For the next fifteen weeks Sammy fought with all her heart. The transplant went well, and Sammy's carefree spirit stayed strong. In the end, all the specialists and all the drugs couldn't alter her fate. We thought our lives had been a terrifying roller-coaster ride up until that point, but when she went to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for the last time, our seatbelts were removed. The first night we were told to notify family, she wouldn't make it through the night. She did; her numbers that had seemed unrecoverable did recover. Although she couldn't come off the respirator or come out of her drug-induced coma, a little ray of hope was ignited again. A week later, we held our dear angel as she left this world, going to a place where cancer and massive pulmonary hemorrhage meant nothing.
Instead of celebrating the third birthday of our two beautiful daughters Sammy and Vicky, we were at the funeral home, seeing our angel for the last time.
Sammy touched a lot of people in her short life, and taught many people some valuable lessons. Make the best of your situation - SARS restrictions are okay, that just means one-on-one Mommy-Sammy time and then one-on-one Daddy-Sammy time. Leaky eyes won't help. Making someone else feel better will make you feel better. Hug your kids everyday, they are not as indestructible as they should be.
Since inception, the R.O.C.K. has handed over $430,000 to Childhood Cancer Canada with all our funds earmarked for research at the 17 Children's Hospitals across Canada. We maintain a zero-cost event so that every dollar raised goes to the Foundation. We depend on corporate sponsors for our prizes and supplies.
Our first 2 years were held in Cambridge in 2004 and 2005, raising $13,246 our first year and over $26,000 in year two, In 2006 we moved back to Corunna, just outside of Sarnia, where the girls had been born. In 2016 the ride was moved to Niagara after a work relocation.
May 21, 2000 - May 18, 2003
Always an angel; Always in our hearts.
Childhood Cancer Canada (CCC)
More than 10,000 children are battling cancer in Canada right now. An additional 1,500 kids will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. These children and their families will be challenged physically, emotionally, and financially.
CCC is the national leader in the fight against childhood cancer. Since 1987, CCC has created victories for children with cancer and their families through:
- Strategic, lifesaving childhood cancer research
- Empowering support programs and services at all stages of their cancer journey