Type of Cancer: High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Earned his angel wings March 11, 2012
Adam was always known for his athleticism, especially in minor hockey. His talent as a young hockey player was very promising as he continued to succeed year after year earning top points for every rep team he played for. He was known as “Feddy” and had an uncanny sense of where to be on the ice. Adam’s second love was music. At the age of ten he picked up the electric guitar, and just like his hockey stick, he had difficulty putting it down.
In April of 2007, Adam competed against many young, talented boys to land a position on the Barrie Minor AAA hockey team. En route to the tryouts, Adam’s doctor advised him not to lace up his skates. Adam had recently undergone blood work during a visit to the emergency room at his local hospital to investigate the cause of dark, purple bruising on his legs and back. On May 4th, 2007, Adam was sent to The Hospital for Sick Children where he was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer.
Adam completed eight months of intense treatment and in 2008, remained on maintenance chemotherapy. Sadly, Adam’s leukemia returned in his central nervous system while on treatment in May of 2009 and his final option was to undergo a risky unrelated bone marrow transplant. For months Adam received very high doses of chemotherapy, cranial and full body irradiation to free his body of this relentless disease. In December 2009, Adam received the precious gift of a bone marrow transplant. He completed his recovery and went into remission by Spring of 2010.
During Summer and Fall of 2010, Adam was enjoying a return to a “normal” life, regaining his fitness and strength and spending time on his bike. In fact, in July of 2010, Adam went to Calgary to participate in Tour For Kids Alberta. He then rode 4 days during Tour For Kids Ontario in August.
In late December, however, Adam was not feeling well. He was given the worst possible news… that his cancer was back, again, for a third time. He was immediately admitted to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Then on April 1, 2011, he received another Bone Marrow Transplant. He moved into recovery phase and was in hospital for many months with a brief stint at Bloorview Macmillan. The main issue impeding his recovery was chronic Graft vs Host Disease or GvHD. A side effect of the 2nd transplant. GvHD was unrelenting in its attack causing many complications and many difficult days for this family. He had a few brief opportunities to be at home as well.
Adam had already beaten his cancer twice – and had been fighting it a third time. He has endured things you likely can’t imagine. Fortunately, his family, friends, hockey teammates and the C2CACF rallied around Adam and encouraged him to keep fighting. This incredible support has helped all of us get through some very rough times. Childhood cancer is a scary world for every child, but we’re enormously thankful for our National Riders that continuously stand shoulder to shoulder with these children and their families across the country.
Adam passed away with his family at his side on March 11, 2012. There are some people that become symbolic of an issue, their fight so powerful, and to many cyclists and friends, Adam was and is their hero.
Adam’s ambition was to become healthy again; to mount his bike on the road to recovery and to someday pedal for the Sears National Ride himself. His goal was to one day become an inspiration in the hearts of kids and teens just like him that have been affected by cancer to never give up. Indeed Adam has already done that and more. Thank you for sharing your journey and making us better people along the way.