London Community News
By Mallory Clarkson/London Community News/Twitter: @MalloryClarkson
When Jaxson Breynaert was just 21 months old, he had to spend a year in the hospital after having a brain tumor removed.
Between his stays at Victoria Hospital in London and SickKids in Toronto, Jaxson’s family was split up, as his mother, Candace, travelled with him and his father stayed home to work to pay the bills and watch the youngster’s older brother.
“I think that’s the toughest part and a lot of people don’t realize that, you have to split your family up,” Candace said. “I was away from them for four months with Jaxson.”
The Breynaerts struggled to keep their heads above water.
Even with support from groups like Childcan, Jaxson’s father still had to work a lot more to help make ends meet.
“He’s been taking side jobs,” Candace said, adding it’s been rough. “He’s a master electrician and he’s been working eight to five, sometimes until 6 p.m. and then he’ll come home, eat, say good night to the kids and he’ll leave from seven until sometimes midnight working a job.”
On May 28, around two years after the first surgery, doctors removed another brain tumor from Jaxson. On top of that he and his family will have to go through the ordeal again.
But this time, little Jaxson will have to undergo outpatient radiation for a month or more, a procedure that is normally meant for kids older than nine.
“They don’t like to do it until they’re nine, but we have no choice,” Candace explained. “We’ve exhausted all of our other choices.
“He can’t do chemo again, we can’t do the stem cells again, bone marrow won’t work because it’s the same lines as stem cells … we’re left with surgery and medication.”
Rather than going it alone, a fundraiser is being held to help the Breynaerts make ends meet.
“This will help us keep our family together and allow our family to be together around Jaxson this time,” Candace said. “We didn’t get that chance last time, like I said, if we had the financial means, my husband would have been with us in Toronto more and he missed out on a lot of Jaxson’s care.
“We’ll only use what we need and all we really, really want is enough to cover our bills while Jaxson is in the hospital, so my husband doesn’t have to stress out.”
On June 9 from 1-5 p.m., hundreds of people will be attending a carnival-type fundraiser held at Try Recycling’s Graham Family EcoPark (located at the corner of Clarke and Medway roads).
“It’s based for kids, it’s for families,” Candace said of the event. “We have a lot of carnival games, we have a dunk tank, we have Lorenzo face art … a silent auction, we have tonnes.”
She added 3M, Joe Kool’s and Coca-Cola, among others, have all tossed in their assistance.
“This is more than I could have ever asked for, I just wanted something little,” she said. “We’re very gracious that everyone has stepped up to help.”
Proceeds from the event will be split between the Breynaert family and Childcan, an organization that helps children and their families cope with the diagnosis of cancer by providing financial, social and emotional support.
Candace said the money will help her family keep their heads above water.
“That will help pay the respite work to get him to and from his radiation appointments because that will take up a lot of the funding,” Candace said, adding while the family does receive relief six nights a week, additional assistance is needed to go to and from appointments.
“You need two people at all times with Jaxson to travel with him for safety reasons and I only get so much coverage from respite work,” she said. “Being a one-income family, taking time off to be with your child in the hospital … you have to take quite a bit of time off of work because they need both parents there.”
And while the surgeries have been serious, Candace said her “perky” son is full of spunk.
“Everyone that meets him just falls in love with him, he’s got quite the little personality on him,” she said. “He’s a ladies man, he’s always smiling, he’s always laughing.”
The Boys and Girls Club has donated buses for shuttling people who don’t have a ride.
For more information, contact Amanda at 519-520-5783.
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