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Calgary mom encourages donations to Kids Cancer Care on Giving Tuesday

Luca was diagnosed with anaplastic medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, at the age of four. Luca was diagnosed with anaplastic medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, at the age of four.
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A Calgary mother is sharing her young son's journey with cancer with the hope it will encourage people to donate to local charity Kids Cancer Care on Giving Tuesday.

Amber Boyle says Luca was diagnosed with anaplastic medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, at the age of four.

“There's no words to describe that feeling of not only your child having cancer, but also having brain cancer,” said Boyle.

Luca underwent six rounds of high-dose chemotherapy interspersed with three stem cell transplants, which required three rounds of high-dose chemotherapy and intense isolation.

After his chemo, Luca relapsed and had to go through it all over again, a journey that was draining for the child.  Breaks were tough to come by for the family, but that’s where Kids Cancer Care helped out.

“He has benefited greatly from Kids Cancer Care as has every member of our family,” said Boyle.

“They attend summer camp where they get to reconnect with their friends and the people in their lives that actually understand what walking this road feels like.”

A news release from Kids Cancer Care describes the boy as looking up from his hospital bed at one point to say, "Mommy, if this is what my life is going to be, I don’t want it."

Luca is now cancer-free, but officials say he faces complex, treatment-related medical issues.

"His growth plates have fused due to the chemotherapy, and he has stopped growing. He’s had double cataract surgery and has significant cognitive delays, and he will never live independently," explained a news release.

Boyle is hoping that by speaking about her son's lengthy battle with cancer, she can encourage Calgarians to donate to Kids Cancer Care on Tuesday to help the charity support other families in need.

Giving Tuesday is a charitable movement celebrated annually on the day after Cyber Monday. The idea is to donate the money saved from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to a good cause.

“When you've got a child that's dealing with medical issues and you're dealing with the hospital, those are just extra big challenges and having a team like ours to support and provide programming and connection to other families is just vital,” said Genine Neufeld, director of philanthropy for Kids Cancer Care.

“Your donations to Kids Cancer Care help support kids and families in some of the worst and best times of their lives.”

This year, philanthropists will be matching every donation to Kids Cancer Care on or before Tuesday, Nov. 28 to a maximum of $120,000. Every dollar will be tripled, which means more support for kids like Luca.

“Your donations are helping not only children in treatment but throughout the remainder of their childhood to help support their mental health,” said Boyle.

To donate, you can visit the Kids Cancer Care website.

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