Family of triplets with cancer 'overwhelmed' by public support

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Family of triplets with cancer 'overwhelmed' by public support

Emily Chan and Rubab Abid,
Published Saturday, July 26, 2014 12:24PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 26, 2014 8:25PM EDT An Alberta family preparing to stay in Toronto while their three triplets receive cancer treatments say they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Toronto residents offering their homes.
Just over 36 hours after posting a plea for temporary Toronto housing on their blog (external - login to view), Richard and Leslie Low say they received more than 80,000 visits to their website and over 500 emails from Toronto residents offering accommodation to the family.
After looking for something semi-permanent in Toronto, the Low family decided to turn to the Internet and reached out to local residents for help.

The response, they say, was unexpected.
“We were thinking maybe a couple emails saying, ‘Hey, check out this place,’ or helping us out, but we definitely weren’t expecting offers for people to move to their basement or move out so that we can move in or anything like that,” Richard Low told CTV Toronto via a Skype interview on Saturday.
“It’s definitely amazing, the response people have shown,” he added.
The Alberta family has identical triplets, Thomas, Mason and Luke. All three boys were diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer, when they were only three months old.
The Low family says the odds of having triplets all diagnosed with the same cancer are extremely rare. Both Thomas and Mason have each had one eye removed as a result of the rare cancer that occurs in about one in every 20,000 births.
The family has made several trips to Toronto since the triplet’s diagnosis, seeking critical treatment for the infants from experts at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital.
While Alberta Health has paid for the family’s flights to Toronto, finding adequate housing accommodations has been left up to the Low family – adding a massive expense to an already stressful situation.
"It is extremely difficult to find short term accommodations that can fit triplets and 4 adults," they wrote on their blog on Thursday. "If we didn't have to worry about housing, I think these trips would be more manageable and a lot less stressful."
Their humble request quickly went viral, and the family was inundated with hundreds of offers from residents across the province.
By Saturday afternoon, the family said they were close to reaching a housing agreement.
The family has also thanked the many people who have offered to donate money. But they asked that supporters contribute to the family’s already existing fundraising campaign, rather than begin new fundraisers.
"Last month, we had scammers open up a fundraising using the boys [sic] pictures and our identical story,” the post said. “Due to this, we would appreciate if nobody else starts a fundraising campaign for us.”
The Low family recently discovered that Mason’s cancer has spread and while both Thomas and Luke are on six-week treatment plans, Mason is receiving chemotherapy and needs to be seen by a doctor every three weeks.
Despite the challenges, the family remains optimistic that everything will work out.
“This cancer is very aggressive and it’s really hard as parents to go through all this, but then we have so many people reach out to us and support us and it really helps us feel like we can make it through this and we can conquer it,” Leslie Low told CTV Toronto.
According to the Canadian Retinoblastoma Society, the retinoblastoma survival rate is over 96 per cent in Canada.
The family says that while prognosis for the three boys is good, they have years of hospital visits ahead of them. They say their goal is to save as much of the triplet’s vision as possible and stop the cancerous tumours from getting too big and spreading.
The family is asking parents to visit their blog (external - login to view) for more information on how to check kids for retinoblastoma.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Colin D’Mello

Read more: Family of triplets with cancer 'overwhelmed' by public support | CTV News (external - login to view)

It warms the heart to hear how people can and do help each other out. (So strange, we're capable of such warmth and generosity and yet we continue to kill each other with an almost reckless abandon around the globe.)

Even with such a high survival rate it must be trying to have all three children afflicted. I can't even begin to imagine the strength it must take to keep going, or the toll of all the stress.

And if anyone here does have any info on downtown Toronto condo rentals, I think they're still looking.

Mother of triplets with rare eye cancer thankful for support from strangers

Published Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:52AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 5:47PM EDT Leslie Low says she's been on a roller coaster ride since her triplet infants were all diagnosed with a rare childhood eye cancer in February.
While the family has a long journey ahead, Low said the support she's received from Canadians coast-to-coast has been overwhelming.
"Sometime we focus on all the bad," Low told CTV's Canada AM (external - login to view) on Thursday. "What I really want people to take from this story is that there are so, so many good people in this world that want to help each other, and we are so thankful for all that support."

While the Low family lives in Edmonton, they travel to Toronto every six weeks so the seven-month-old boys can receive treatment for retinoblastoma at SickKids Hospital.
Two of the triplets, Thomas and Mason, have each had an eye removed and replaced with a prosthetic eye. Their brother Luke has since become blind in his left eye.
But Low remains positive about their treatment.
"They all have one really, really good eye, which is great news."
Upon learning of the diagnosis, the top priority was stopping the cancer from spreading, which doctors have managed to do.
"Right now we are (focusing) on trying to save their vision," she said (external - login to view).
In late July, the family published a blog post (external - login to view) seeking temporary housing in Toronto. Within a few days, the Lows had more than 100,000 visitors to their blog and more than 1,000 offers from strangers who wanted tohelp.
"Some people offered to help babysit, some people offered to vacate their basement so we could stay there. Some people offered to move out of their home and go live with family whenever we go visit," Low said (external - login to view). "It's really, really heartwarming."
Housing for the family was secured earlier this month, and Low said more offers to help and monetary donations continue to stream in.
A fundraising campaign (external - login to view) that set out to raise $30,000 to help the family with expenses during the boys' treatments has nearly hit $80,000 in donations.
Low stressed that support doesn't necessarily mean monetary donations.
"If you see someone else struggling with childhood cancer, try to reach out to them because it means a lot," she said. "It doesn't have to be money support. It could just be prayers or positive thoughts."

Read more: Mother of triplets with rare eye cancer thankful for support from strangers | CTV News (external - login to view)

Such beautiful little babies, it's heartwarming to see people reaching out to help this family.
Yes it is heartwarming to see people reaching out.

Toronto needs some news that reflects something other than self absorbed losers embarrassing themselves and everyone else...
Time for them to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.
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