Grandparents plan party to celebrate six-year-old’s remission

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Frank Gale
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Chantille Pollard is seen with her six-year-old son Lucas Pollard, who is in remission from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, for which he was treated over the past three years and three months.

KIPPENS  After spending nearly half his young life in treatment for leukemia, six-year-old Lucas Pollard is being honoured this weekend with a “no more chemo celebration.”

His grandparents, Wayne and Maureen Simon of Kippens, wanted to put together the celebration to thank everyone in the community for all their thoughts and well wishes during the past three years and three months.

Lucas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Aug. 28, 2010, and started his treatments shortly after. He is now in remission but won’t be considered cancer-free for another five years.

“This is going to be an amazing Christmas, being around family and not having to worry about cancer,” said Lucas’ mom, Chantille Pollard.

“It’s a time to be very grateful.”

In addition to the Simons being in the area, Lucas’s other set of grandparents, Melvin and Triffey Pollard, live in Stephenville and will also be attending the event.

His dad, Jeff Pollard — who is in the military — is expected to arrive in Newfoundland early Sunday morning in time to attend the afternoon event.

Lucas’s 21-month-old brother, Nathan, is already in the area.

Lucas didn’t say a lot about having to undergo the treatment, other than that “it was not good and certainly not fun.” He’s glad to now have it all over with and his mom said he’s especially excited to now be able to have a bedtime snack with a glass of milk, which he couldn’t have while undergoing treatment.

“It’s was stressful, scary and sometimes very overwhelming,” Pollard said of the time her son was being treated.

Holding his beads of courage, Lucas was proud to point out the last bead that was added, which represents his last chemotherapy treatment in early November. Every bead represents a hospital procedure, and there’s been lots of them.

In total, he had 1,162 doses of oral chemotherapy, 65 intravenous chemotherapy treatment, five surgeries and 19 sedations to have chemo injected in his spine. He spent 55 nights in the Kingston General Hospital and six nights last Christmas at the Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook.

While they now living in Kingston, Ont., Pollard said the family came to the Stephenville area quite often during Lucas’s illness and dealt with the Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville, Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook and The Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s.

“All the people in these hospitals were great with Lucas and he was treated well everywhere,” she said.

Pollard said although her husband was supposed to be posted outside Kingston, the Canadian Forces allowed the family to stay there so Lucas could complete his chemotherapy. Jeff was also allowed to stay next year when Lucas is required to have followup examinations.

Even though Lucas didn’t need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, Pollard knows there are many kids on a waiting list for one and encourages people to consider becoming a donor. She said all it takes to find out if you could match someone is a simple swab of the cheek inside the mouth.

Pollard said the family was also fortunate that they are living in Kingston and have a hospital nearby with an oncology unit.

“There is an ongoing need for help for families who have sick children to assist out with accommodations, meals and travel,” she said. “People should donate to the Bay St. George Sick Children’s Foundation because there are families who need the help.”

The celebration is taking place at the Santa Maria Club on West Street in Stephenville on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. and the Simons have invited a large number of people. All family, friends and acquaintances are welcome to drop by.

Organizations: Western Memorial Regional Hospital, Kingston General Hospital, Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital Canadian Forces Santa Maria Club

Geographic location: Stephenville, Kingston, Newfoundland Corner Brook The Janeway Children West Street

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  • Derrick Thorne
    December 23, 2013 - 10:28

    I am so happy for you Cousin Lucas, it has been a long battle for you but with the strength you and your family have and with the power of the Lord, you will be a winner. Merry Christmas to all and Thank the Lord for all He has done.

  • shar
    December 21, 2013 - 08:13

    Bless his heart, may this be the beginning of his bright, happy, healthy future. You are a trouper. Merry Christmas to all.