The Tiessen Family’s Time At Camp Trillium

Camp Trillium is one of 3 pediatric cancer camps in Ontario- a special place for children and families dealing with cancer. Your donations to Coast to Coast Against Cancer help support their amazing programs. Below is the story of the Tiessen family’s journey with cancer, and how Camp Trillium holds special place in their heart- thanks to you!

Camp Trillium is such a special place to our family.  It is the best place in the world that you never want to be invited to.  We have been going to camp since 2006 when our son, Cole, was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Hearing this kind of news about your nine year old child is devastating.  In the blink of an eye life changed, not only for Cole, but for the entire family.  Cole was diagnosed as a very high risk ALL (leukemia) patient.  This meant he had to undergo 25 months of chemotherapy and cranial radiation.  Cole was in and out of the hospital quite a bit throughout the first year of his treatment program.

We remember the first time that we pulled up to Camp Trillium.  The welcome that we received from the counselors was so warm and enthusiastic that as parents, it filled us with so much emotion and gratitude.  We were going through something awful, and Camp Trillium felt like a place that was created just to help bring some joy and normalcy back to our family.  Words could never express how grateful we are for the years of fun, kindness, and compassion that we have experienced at camp.

Camp Trillium has given us, as adults a great excuse to take some time to just play and have fun.  It is a place that has something for everyone.  No one ever feels left out at Camp Trillium and after missing school trips, cancelling family vacations and spending holidays in the hospital, which is worth more than most will ever understand.  We can honestly say that every experience that we have had at camp has been a very positive one.  We love the Camp Trillium morning radio show, the polar bear dip, campfires and of course the parent vs. counselors hockey game!  When we pick up our kids from residential camp, the positive energy on the car ride home is infectious.  Most special of all is the goodnight song.  It has been over six years since we first heard the goodnight song and to this day Steve cannot listen to it without tears coming to his eyes.

To the counselors at camp – never underestimate what an important job you have.  You have touched our lives in such a positive way.  You are the greatest thing about the camp, what you do is special and you should be proud of yourselves.  We have always said that the youth that work at camp are the cream of the crop.  Our special friends have all been incredible people who were cheerfully willing to do whatever the kids wanted to do with them.

Camp Trillium has given our children so many awesome experiences.  As our children have grown, they have wanted to keep Camp Trillium in their lives.  Our oldest Luke, became a counselor last year; this year Cole (he is doing great by the way) and Monica are hoping to get accepted into the internship program; and, our youngest Sarah is saying that she too wants to be a counselor one day.  Thank you Camp Trillium from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing experiences that you have given our family!!!


Tiessen Family

The Tiessen family thanks you!