When Leland Haley visited Scarborough and Rouge Hospital’s (SRH) Paediatric Oncology Clinic on August 29, it wasn’t just for another needle or procedure.
On this day, this resilient ten-year-old marked a milestone in his years-long journey battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he rung the end of treatment bell to signal the end of his chemotherapy treatments.
“I’m so proud of Leland and of our whole family,” said his mother Natasha, who stresses how she, her husband, and Leland’s 12-year-old brother Landen have been there to support him and each other throughout every part of his diagnosis and treatment.
Leland was diagnosed with cancer in June 2015. Following a brief stay at SickKids Hospital, Leland did the majority of his treatment at SRH, including two and a half years of chemotherapy and regular checkups.
“The care Leland’s received at Scarborough and Rouge Hospital has been phenomenal,” said Natasha. “We felt like we were at home every time we came here and the staff and physicians treated us like family.”
Landen is even more complimentary. “This hospital is one of the greatest; it’s one of the best in the world.”
However, he’s just as quick to recognize the strength of his little brother. “When he was diagnosed I was crushed, it hurt so bad on the inside and it wasn’t something I thought would ever happen. But Leland’s gone through a lot and he’s knocked cancer down like Rocky!”
“We’re so happy for Leland to ring the end of treatment bell today,” said Kirsty Morelli, Nurse Practitioner in the clinic.
“As a satellite location of the Paediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, we work in partnership with SickKids to provide the very best cancer care to close to home for patients like Leland and their families.”
Although Leland has been given an excellent prognosis for the future, he won’t be declared officially cancer-free for five more years until he reaches the age of 15 with no relapses.
But for now, Leland has some very clear goals in mind. “I haven’t been able to jump on a trampoline during my treatment, so I just want to do that again,” he says with a smile.