13-year-old Sophia shares what your support means to her as she battles cancer for a second time.

Hi! My name is Sophia. I love cats, hanging out with my friends, and watching funny videos online. I live with my mom and dad and our cat, Jinx, who I love a lot! Our home is in Timmins, ON but I’ve spent so much time at RMHC Toronto, it feels like home too.

My mom and I stayed at RMHC Toronto on and off in 2017 and 2018 when I went through chemo. My dad was working in Timmins, but he came down to visit on the weekends.

I remember how weird it was when all my hair fell out. But being at the House made it easier because there were other kids getting chemo too. I wasn’t the only person with no hair.

Every week, there were cool activities like woodworking or arts and crafts. I attended RMHC Toronto School and made a few new friends. The teachers even let me wear my hat in class so I felt more comfortable.

I don’t like it when some people feel sorry for me or treat me differently because I have cancer. When I’m at RMHC Toronto, I don’t get special treatment or sad stares. My teachers and the other people I meet understand that I just want to be treated like any other 13-year-old.

In October 2020, my cancer came back. This time around, my mom needs cancer treatment at a hospital in Toronto too. It might be surprising for some people to hear me say this, but I didn’t feel stressed or worried about this. I’ve been here before and I know what to expect this time. The House is kind of my safe place.

The House is different than the last time I was here, but I guess everywhere is different now with COVID. I’ve joined some of the virtual programs and there are still lots of snacks available in the kitchen. With the medication that my mom and I are on we can get really hungry, so it’s nice to have dinners delivered right to our room.

I can tell my mom feels supported at RMHC Toronto too. We are both beating cancer at the same time, but we don’t have to worry about anything else because we have this amazing place to call home.

Thank you for making donations so that this House is here for my family. I know that one day, I will donate to RMHC Toronto to help other kids who are going through what I’m going through now.

If RMHC Toronto didn’t exist, my mom and I would have to stay in a hotel so we could be close to the hospital. My parents say we couldn’t afford it. I can’t imagine my mom and I trying to live in a hotel around other people who don’t understand what we are going through.

In years to come, I want to come back and visit the House just to say hi to the staff. And just like I do now, I’ll be walking into a place that feels like home.