One Man’s Hour of Need

One Man’s Hour of Need

Here at we receive many emails from our visitors on a regular basis.

This particular one caught our eye.

One of our site users, Rosa Awad, sent us this. Before you read this, please be aware that Rosa is a military wife, and young mum. She lives in Quebec City with her husband (a serving soldier) and their two daughters.

Can anyone out there help in any way? Anyone?
Please contact Rosa via the links in the story if you can.

Michael LeBlanc (Rosa’s dad) needs you

On July 8th this year, in for a routine GI scope related to my father’s rheumatoid arthritis, my family began its most heart wrenching journey to date.

Michael-LeBlanc_1“At 59 years old, Michael LeBlanc is the picture of health. A retired correctional officer, former black belt, a current business owner alongside his wife Mae. Michael tends the grounds of the home by hand, previously a hobby farm with Appaloosas; the horses are gone now, but the maintenance remains. Nearly 25 acres of mowing, buildings to repair and maintain, wood siding always in need of some touching up, or granddaughters visiting and demanding his attention.

On the day of his scope, no one expected the diagnosis that they received. While undergoing rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Michael had been having some issues with his medication that had been causing him stomach pain and discomfort. He had been having issues eating, and lost a bit of weight as a result of it. But such issues are fairly common with the basic treatment path he was on. To change medications, Michael underwent the scope to be able to confirm the medication as the culprit and then be on his way. The scope however, also discovered a mass at the base of his esophagus, nearly 1 inch in diameter, just at the top of his stomach.

Within days of discovery, Michael had various batches of scans and testing to confirm and verify the extent of the issue. The final result, Esophageal Cancer, spread into his lymph nodes, and into his liver, officially classifying him as a stage 4 cancer patient. His local hospital gave him the typical treatment options, chemo and radiation, but that this was to be considered palliative care only, and gave him 5 months to survive without the treatments, 10 or so with. To say that this was crushing may be the definition of an understatement. Their local hospital said all the right things, referred them to support groups, set appointments for them to begin the process of extending Michael’s time, and sent them on their way.”

I received that phone call at work that day, and it is as though the air went out of the room. There is nothing that can be done to staunch that helpless feeling of knowing someone you love has an expiration date. Especially, when you are 800 km away, and unable to offer even the most basic of comforts.

Michael-LeBlanc_2My parents, Mae and Michael, live in Notre Dame New Brunswick, a small French community just outside of Moncton. I live here in Quebec City, alongside my husband, a member of the Canadian armed forces, and our two daughters.  In the days since my father’s diagnosis, we have searched the globe in hopes of finding options, alternatives, some hope that if he is willing to fight, that there is a future for us that will include my father. We were fortunate enough to have one, relatively close to home considering the bulk of options were of an international kind.

Toronto is home to the Medicor Cancer center, Canada’s first ever private Cancer clinic. They’ve been treating otherwise inoperable and terminal cancers for years, with numerous successes and have not only agreed to take on my father’s case, but he will be receiving a treatment never before done in Canada. It’s called SAF Chemo therapy (side effect free), and his doctor has cited a 90% chance of remission. My father flew to Toronto on August 20th to commence his treatments, and our family beside itself with joy at this opportunity, but it not without its costs. The treatments alone would cost over $40,000 out of pocket, not considering the additional fees and costs of such illnesses and treatments.

Family members have put together Facebook Groups ( and a website ( where we have been posting and creating various events, dinners, silent auctions and the like, in hopes of covering the costs to the best of our abilities.

Thank you for reading and for any help and support that you may be able to give.
Rosa Awad

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