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Yashvi is a very friendly, bright, high energy, curious and a kind child. She loves music, swimming, soccer, reading books and enjoyed going to all these different activities! For some time before her diagnosis I remember she would have spurt of energy and focus on activity and then have a huge drop in energy and disinterest. The doctors, some family and friends convinced me that it’s a typical toddler behaviour and her pediatrician checked and said everything seems fine and normal. She had high fever for almost week and a half that didn’t seem to go away and so she was asked to go do some tests at Sick Kids. We learned later that night that Yashvi has Hepatoblastoma.



 

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Although I hadn’t heard that word ever before in my life; when I first heard I almost knew its Cancer and hoped it was not. A doctor went on explaining and I don't remember any details; I think as soon as I heard the word “Cancer” - everything stopped. It's so overwhelming and upsetting that I think you only hear bits and pieces, if you hear at all. We were told we are staying in the Hospital and were sent to 6th Floor. That night I don’t think I slept at all and since then many many more nights during our Hospital stay. I remember feeling so numb, drained and uncertain. Yashvi was only 2 and was very tired and scared from all tests and encounter with several doctors and nurses that checked her throughout the day; it was late and I crawled in with her to comfort her and hugged her tighter and hoped it was really a bad dream and would go away. Next Morning we met more doctors that explained us what Hepatoblastoma was along with some risks, charts and conversations about medications and side effects of them as well. They knew its cancer, but needed other tests to know what stage, the prognosis, how long the treatment will be and all such information. When your child has cancer, there is so much you can't control and you as a parent feel powerless; I couldn’t control her diagnosis, tests, treatments, risks or prognosis. You feel helpless and I remember thinking, “How do I explain this to Yashvi? Should I talk to her about this at all? How much should I tell her? Would she even know the word cancer yet?” With all this thoughts and information, a very heavy heart and tearful eyes I sat next to Yashvi and just then heard a Knock on the Door; there were 2 people at the door that had smile on their face and asked: Would you like to do some Crafts and invited us to join in the Ooch room. My first instinct was to say “No, Thank You” and then I looked at Yashvi and she had that Sparkle in her eyes and really wanted to go and so we did… That is how our journey, love and relationship with Camp Ooch began. After that we have had several knocks at our door each one of them has brought smile and happiness on Yashvi’s face and ease her pain. We truly are so grateful for Camp Ooch that gave Yashvi innumerable moments of “being a little child” and doing things she enjoyed. Ooch really helped her forget even for few minutes that she is in Hospital or she just had another poke (lost count of how many pokes after 40th). She was “able to belong” because of other friends she met through Ooch that were going through similar yet unique journey. It’s heartbreaking when Yashvi wasn’t able to come out of her room for weeks but Ooch brought the fun in her small world (her room) and smile on her face in the midst of all this; it’s like the prince in the fairy-tales that comes to break the sadness/misery away from the princess - its magical. No child should be raised in a Hospital and Camp Ooch gives Kids with Cancer an opportunity to live and enjoy their childhood just as Kids not as Kids with Cancer. Ooch has been Magical and a trusted partner to make Yashvi happy and be the little girl even in the difficult moments. I see the power of Ooch and really want to extend our gratitude and Thank You to each and every one of you at Ooch from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

 

Khushbu, Yashvi's mom

 

 

About Camp Oochigeas

Camp Oochigeas (Ooch) provides children with and affected by childhood cancer with what they need most – the chance to be kids. Ooch is the only overnight camp in Ontario to offer on-site IV chemotherapy and blood transfusions providing access to campers in active treatment the friendship and fun of Camp. Operating year-round, Ooch offers programs at overnight camp in Muskoka, at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), various other paediatric hospitals, regional cancer centres and at Ooch Downtown in the heart of Toronto. As a registered charity, Ooch relies exclusively on the generous support of fundraisers, individual and corporate donors like you.

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