Through unimaginable tragedy, Jamelle Bloomer and her family are trying to do some good.
Bloomer lost her son, Nicolas Henkel, at the age of four after a courageous battle with cancer in May.
He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia at 16 months old and just a few weeks before Christmas last year, the family had found out the cancer has returned.
Despite that loss, Bloomer is trying to give back to two organizations that played a huge role in Nicolas’ journey. The Sylvan Lake family has organized a bottle drive for Sept. 18, with funds going towards Kids Cancer Care and Helping Families Handle Cancer Foundation.
“We really want to support these people that have supported us through everything,” she said, adding that some other cancer organizations only dedicate a small portion of their funds raised to pediatric cancer.
“It’s beyond money, mental well-being for us and the children going through cancer treatment… it’s just also knowing that there are people there that have your back.”
She said both organizations were crucial with all levels of support during Nicolas’ battle – Kids Cancer Care provided services like exercise programs, physiotherapy and education, while Helping Families Handle Cancer Foundation assisted monetarily with other expenses surrounding the hospital stay.
In 2020, while Nicolas was still fighting cancer, Bloomer held a bottle drive for Kids Cancer Care and raised more than $6,500. She hopes the family can top that goal in 2021.
“We’re doing it to pay it forward. There are so many kids diagnosed with cancer… it’s not only paying it forward but also hoping that one day, no other parent has to go through this,” she said.
They hope to top that goal this year and will be at the Bower Mall parking lot, near Shopper’s Drug Mart between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. She’s also travelling to pick up bottles and cans all over Central Alberta.