Carolyn Kooymans recounts their journey as parents of a son who is now on the other side of leukemia and five rounds of chemo.
Carolyn and I met in university as Frosh Leaders at Nipissing University, and she and her husband Josh welcomed me into their home to record one of their most life-altering stories.
After teaching and traveling abroad, Carolyn and Josh returned to Canada, and got jobs teaching in Churchill. After they got married, and Carolyn's near-perfect pregnancy, they welcomed Malcolm into their lives in September 2018. Shortly thereafter, they debated moving closer to family, but were forced to leave Churchill for a very different and unexpected reason.
In January 2019, Malcolm started showing some serious signs of being unwell, but without answers. Numerous trips to the emergency room and with different doctors, there seemed to be no answer as to why this sweet and healthy little guy was so sick, without any signs of getting better. There were no answers until the answer became: your son has Infant Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
In this episode, Carolyn (and Josh in the background!) tell us about their journey as parents of a son with AML. They share how they worked to maintain their own mental health and balance their lives to keep their relationship strong throughout this stressful and emotional time. They talk about normalizing life as much as possible while living in the hospital, and how they'll work towards a label-free life for Malcolm.
Carolyn and Josh also open up about some strategies they adopted to heal and cope, and though they might not be the same, they encourage each other in their every endeavour towards healing and processing the last year and a half.
Carolyn and Josh, I appreciate you both more than I can articulate. Thank you for everything you do and have done, supporting other families dealing with cancer throughout this process and continuing to advocate for Malcolm.
Carolyn's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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