The news no parent is prepared to hear: Your child has Cancer. This is exactly the news Annika and Al received regarding their son Markus Janssens on September 18th, 2019.
Background: In the two weeks leading up to Markus’ diagnosis, he started noticing some increasing shortness of breath. Undeterred, Markus continued to push through his LMHA Bantam Rep Hockey evaluations. On the same day that Markus learned that he had achieved his goal of making the Bantam A2 hockey team with LMHA, he stepped off the ice and his parents took him to the local hospital where he was admitted with what was initially thought to be pneumonia or a lung-related hockey injury. Unfortunately, Markus’ condition worsened over the course of the week and he was eventually transferred to the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver where further tests revealed that Markus has a large tumour above his heart.
Current Situation: Markus is presently in the ICU at the BC Children’s Hospital and has begun chemotherapy treatments. His parents, Annika and Al, and his two sisters have been at his side since his admission to hospital and continue to be a huge source of support for him during this time. It is very hopeful that the chemotherapy treatments will melt the tumour away without the need for invasive surgery.
Moving Forward: As you can imagine, the excitement Markus felt at the prospect of playing competitive hockey this year, attending school (Grade 9), and hanging out with his many friends has changed dramatically since his diagnosis. His family’s sense of normal has also been turned upside down. His father Al has a business he must continue to manage and has been commuting back and forth to the hospital on a daily basis to help care for Markus. Annika has taken a leave of absence from work to be present at the hospital while Markus undergoes critical treatments.
When Markus is eventually discharged from the hospital, it is anticipated that both he and his parents will regularly travel back and forth from the BC Children’s Hospital so that Markus can continue to undergo chemotherapy and treatments several days a week for the next 8+ months. Unfortunately, this may require that Annika’s leave of absence continue for an extended period of months, after Markus returns home, so that she can be available to provide care for him at home and take him to and from the hospital. It is projected that Markus’ cancer treatments will have to continue for a period of 2-3 years, with the hope that the result will leave him cancer free!
Tangible Help: Annika’s leave of absence from work, combined with the greatly increased commuting and parking costs, has already begun to have a significant financial impact on the Janssens family. With the assistance of Annika’s sister Christina, this Go Fund Me page has been created by her and the Langley Minor Hockey Association to help provide financial support to Markus and the Janssens family during the long and difficult journey ahead of them. There is no monetary donation too small or too great, and the family is incredibly grateful for any contribution you make.
Not only are the Janssens a dedicated hockey family, they are also a family of Faith, and it’s asked that you please join them in praying for a full recovery for Markus.
With our deepest gratitude,
Aaron Sproule (on behalf of the Langley Minor Hockey Association) & Christina Kelly (Markus’s Aunt)