What’s more stressful than raising triplet babies? Try raising triplet babies with eye cancer. That’s what Alberta’s Low family is doing. In a staggering defeat of the odds, baby boys Thomas, Mason and Luke are identical triplets – who all have retinoblastoma, a condition so rare that this family alone accounts for about 15 percent of all cases expected to be diagnosed in Canada this year.
The babies are being treated at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. It’s a daunting commute from their home province, considering the family has to do this regularly for the next little while. Early on, the challenging search for a place to stay was enough to putting those already-high anxiety levels through the roof for mom Leslie and dad Richard. They need a place that will suit a family of six (because there’s also big brother Benson, age two, to consider) and it needs to be within walking distance of the downtown hospital – in other words, a rental no ordinary family can reasonably bankroll. Their recent 10-day hotel booking cost them $3885.
So they put an appeal on their blog. Does anyone in Toronto have a lead on affordable downtown accommodation – one that doesn’t involve corrugated cardboard and a sidewalk?
And that’s when the generous heart of Toronto showed itself. News outlets reported that in just two days, the Low family had heard from over 1,000 different people who wanted to help. After a week, that number had reached 2,000. A great many folks proposed housing solutions, while others simply wanted to donate diapers, food or kind words.
It was overwhelming and wonderful, and the busy Low parents have taken the time to gratefully acknowledge the emotional and practical support they’ve received.
“We’ve had genuine offers from people willing to go live with extended family and give us their house. Others offering to move into their basement and give us the upstairs. Offering homes while they vacation. We’ve been in awe,” they wrote on their blog.
They added that when they try to read the messages out loud to each other, “We’ve had tears streaming down our cheeks as our [breath] catches.”
When we’re talking about parents who have probably shed enough worry tears for ten families in the past year alone, it’s nice to know that this time, they’re crying tears of happiness.