CAF Story: Boy fights bone cancer

Video / July 19, 2017

Transcript

MCpl Verreault

Zak's mother had made a request to have a video of soldiers in uniform to encourage her son who has cancer and who has always admired the army since he was very, very young.

Sgt McDuff

He is suffering from cancer of the lymph nodes—metastasized, in fact. It spread to stage four bone cancer, which had reached 75% of his body.

He was a little boy whom we really didn't know at all. We came to learn of the situation and wanted to get more involved.

MCpl Verreault

I wanted to show up in uniform. That's what the little boy wanted. Well, it's the military side that he liked. You know, he wanted to see people in uniform and know some of our stories.

Sgt McDuff

The very first time we saw him, we had a lot of things to give him but he wasn't feeling well enough to receive them, so we had a short visit of about 10 minutes.

MCpl Verreault

And then, yes, the second time, that's right, it went better. He felt much better and we were able to interact with him more.

Sgt McDuff

We walked with him, we chatted with him, we played with him. I think we spent a good two hours together, which was really great. He was happy, he was excited to see us again.

This is the badge of the infantry school. If you go into combat arms one day, like me, you'll get that. And the badge of the Royal 22e Régiment—I think you're starting to know them.

Zak

Yes.

Sgt McDuff

He likes to talk. He likes to laugh. He can't stop telling jokes. I think that Zak is a little boy that everyone could get to know. He can give back a lot at the same time that you give to him. His mother was very moved. I think she is extremely motivated, too. I was very happy to have the opportunity to speak with her at the beginning, and I still talk with her frequently. As for our involvement, she said that it couldn't be better. And it has really brought a lot of positivity to her and in her little boys fight, actually. And I think she continues to appreciate what we do.

MCpl Verreault

To make a small gesture like that, to go and make a small gesture that means a lot for a young boy like that...it wasn't difficult. We were happy to do it.

Sgt McDuff

I think we're going to stay on the positive side.

MCpl Verreault

It's much better than it was. But we'll see how the results go.

Sgt McDuff

He has been getting much better, actually.

MCpl Verreault

Yes.

Sgt McDuff

The bone cancer, last time I spoke with his mother, dropped to roughly 5%.

MCpl Verreault

We had promised to come back, actually, on the day—partly for his results, partly to support his mother—and we brought a couple of presents that we had left to give him and that he really enjoyed last time.

[Text onscreen]

On November 28, 2016, Zak was informed that his cancer was in remission.

Mother

Yes sir, my man!

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