Age: 16 | Toronto, Ontario
- Peter is a very active 16 year old boy. He lives with his Mom, Dad, and brother David, 13. He is going into Grade 11 of high school.
Peter was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL) in April of 2006 one week after his 12th birthday after what seemed to be an uneventful bout of stomach flu. The doctor had decided to do some precautionary blood work which eventually led to the discovery of the leukemia at Sick’s Kids Hospital. He was immediately admitted and within a week of undergoing intensive chemotherapy, he was in remission. At the end of this first week, Peter could barely walk and required a wheelchair for the first day out and about. Peter continues with his protocol (a three and a half year program) which includes multiple visits to Sick Kids Hospital for various treatments including lumbar punctures (injections of chemotherapy in the spinal cord).
As a result of the side-effects of the chemotherapy Peter had to sacrifice much especially in the first year: a large amount of school, a summer of soccer, activities with his friends, limited hockey and, most important to him, playing with his younger brother David.
Now four years after diagnosis, one would be hard-pressed to identify Peter as having to deal with this disease. Though Peter doesn’t miss nearly as much school as he did before, he continues to miss up to a week of school per month due to the treatment and side effects.
Despite all this he remains an honours student while also taking part in a gifted program. He is looking forward to this spring’s upcoming graduation and moving on to high school. Peter enjoys countless extra-curricular activities including soccer, hockey, chess and volleyball. He is a referee for soccer games. He enjoys playing guitar and is always learning a new tune
Peter also plays an active role in his community: he is an alter server at his church every week and is also an active Scout member. Like his father, he’s developed a love for cycling. Last year he managed to take part in some of the Tour for Kids.
Peter has a tremendous attitude and always manages to see humour in things. Like the Latin translation of his name, he remains a ‘rock’ in the face of adversity. He has had, and continues to have, terrific support through family, friends and community, which he really appreciates in every way.
In summer 2009, Peter finished a 3 ½ year chemotherapy protocol. Like his father, he’s developed a love for cycling. Peter has taken his energy and passion for cycling and fundraising seriously and has become an active Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation Ambassador, raising funds and awareness through Tour for Kids and Inside Ride.
This year, along with Julia DiFranscesco, he helped organize The Inside Ride at his school where he helped raise approximately $20,000 for Coast to Coast/Tour for Kids. This fall, he will also be taking part in a 2 week cycling adventure called Give to Live, where he will be cycling from Vancouver to Austin, Texas. This involves cycling over 100 kilometres per day for 2 weeks. Needless to say, he has been busy training.
Peter thanks the Coast to Coast/Tour for Kids group for giving him the opportunity to take part in such a great organization and looks forward to many more cycling events. He is also thankful for the many friends he’s made through this journey.