A Message from Sarah:
I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in 2000. I was 8 years old. I first noticed that something was wrong one day in the summer when I had a numbing sensation in my ankle. Thinking it was only a sprain, I continued to enjoy my vacation. When the feeling didn’t subside, I thought it could be a fracture, so I went to the hospital. A biopsy later found out I had a rare form of cancer in my fibula, which is uncommon in young children.
For one year, I received chemotherapy and radiation at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. I also under went many surgeries, one to remove the fibula bone and two others to correct the alignment of my foot with a tendon transfer and fusing the foot in one direction. I had many wonderful doctors throughout the years: Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Kavan, Dr, Isler, Dr. Fassier, and Dr. Freeman.
One night in my hospital room, I decided that when I get better I wanted to raise money to buy new pillows for the other children on the floor. I was faced with this illness, but I was inspired to look past my own challenge and try to make a difference in the lives of the other children. I understood how hard it is, so I wanted to make it a little easier for other people in similar experiences.
A Message from the Founders: Lorena and Norman Cook
Faced with illness, our family and close friends began to view life from a different perspective, and with newly focused priorities. We were inspired to look beyond our own challenges to fully appreciate the pressing needs of the Hematology/Oncology Division of The Montreal Children’s Hospital and their young patients and families.
As a tribute to our daughter, and in support of the efforts of the professionals who make a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of children and their families every year, we founded the Sarah Cook Fund of the Cedars Cancer Institute for Children.
Through our special events, personal and corporate funding as well as donations from local communities and friends, the Fund has raised over $4.5 million. The most touching gifts have come from children who know Sarah, using their birthday parties, lemonade stands, puppet shows, races and events to raise donations for Sarah’s cause. In 2007 we were very grateful to have been chosen among many children’s causes as the recipient of a very generous donation from Air Canada and West Jet.
The Fund has directly supported the Hematology/Oncology Division, with positive results including state-of-the-art upgrades of treatment rooms, research labs and funding for “Sarah’s Floor”, the new Hematology/Oncology in-patient division at The Children’s. We have always supported the Cedars’ excellent work towards improved cancer treatment in Montreal, and are pleased to be affiliated with their long-standing volunteer effort in conjunction with The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.
As we look to the future, our medical advisory board continues to suggest projects within the Hematology/Oncology Division that urgently need funding. Over the next few years, we hope to fulfill these needs, as well as support the new Children’s Hospital of the MUHC. To learn more about our current projects please click here.
Update on Sarah - Fall 2009
In the summer following Sarah's grade 11 graduation, the doctors at the Children's Hospital discovered her cancer has returned. Sarah is once again fighting this battle. Sarah, her family and doctors remain hopeful and positive about her treatments. Listen to Lance Armstrong's message of hope and encouragement to Sarah.
In September of 2009, Sarah was recognized by world renowned cancer advocate and seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong at the Cedars Cancer Heroes Night in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, for her commitment and dedication to pediatric oncology at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC.
On December 10, 2009 Sarah was honoured as a RBC Olympic Torchbearer. Many supporters flooded the street on the corner of St-Denis and Mont-Royal to cheer on Sarah.
Sarah Cook is a beacon of light in our united front against cancer. Her courage and grace is a daily inspiration to all of us and at the heart and soul of the Cedars Cancer Institute.