Donations come full circle
Memorial’s United Way payroll campaign kicks off this week with impacts close to home
Adam Pike is 12 years old. His mother describes him as kind, loves video games and hanging out with his friends. Sounds like a typical 12 year old. But when Adam was four, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His Mom is Memorial employee Lori Pike. The day her son was diagnosed was “one of the hardest days of my life.”
“We were told that Adam had a brain tumor, it was cancer and it had to be removed as soon as possible. We were in shock and disbelief that our child was so sick. We didn’t know what the future was going to hold for Adam,” she said. “All the dreams that you have as a parent for your child are immediately put on hold and your focus is on getting him though the next round of treatment and ultimately well again.”
An organization called Candlelighters, which provides support to families who have children diagnosed with cancer, was an important part of the help Ms. Pike and her family received.
Candlelighters is one of the many community organizations supported by the United Way of Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the next few weeks, Memorial employees have the chance to give to the United Way through the payroll deduction campaign. It’s the third year for the campaign and last year, Memorial employees committed over $28,000.
“The Candlelighters were a support to me, my husband Jason and Adam, our other son when Adam was diagnosed,” explained Ms. Pike, who is associate director of budgets with Financial and Administrative Services. “Events such as the annual Christmas party gave the families a chance to catch up and be there for each other. Even the food cupboard at the Janeway helped us by having soup, snacks and coffee so we did not have to leave our child to get something to eat.”
The United Way has also supported Camp Delight, a seven-day camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer, their siblings and their bereaved siblings. “Camp lets our kids forget about cancer and just be kids and have fun,” said Ms. Pike. “Camp Delight for Adam is the best week of the year.” Candlelighters also provide families with things such as a diagnosis kit with financial support, biweekly coffee breaks and survivor scholarships for post secondary education.
Now, Ms. Pike gets to help other families. She got involved with Candlelighters because she wanted to give back. She’s the treasurer, a Parent Camp Delight representative and Night of Delight co-chair.
“When a child is diagnosed with cancer the entire family is affected. By supporting United Way, you are helping families during their most difficult time,” said Ms. Pike. “The Candlelighters strive to provide programs and support for the entire family during the treatment years and beyond.”