Diving into Summer Camp

When Talia Montiel-Mahseredjian was diagnosed with cancer at age five, it was the beginning of a journey that would affect not just her, but her entire family.

Marina and her husband Raffi felt isolated and scared. Their 8-year-old son Emile struggled as well; he didn`t understand how to cope with his sister’s diagnosis and treatment.

But everything changed for the family when a social worker told them about the Canadian Cancer Society’s Camp Goodtimes – funded with your generous support. They were particularly delighted to learn that the entire family could attend camp together.

“When you are a family affected by cancer, it stays with you every minute of every day,” says Talia’s mom, Marina. “But at camp, we didn’t have to think about cancer anymore. It was an amazing experience to feel completely at ease for the first time in a long time.”

Every member of the family benefitted from their time at camp.

  • Emile learned how his energy could be focused on helping his family and community – in fact, he now wants to work as a camp counsellor when he’s older.
  • Marina and Raffi met other parents who understood their experiences, alleviating their isolation and making them feel part of a community.
  • Most importantly, Talia thrived as she made new friends, confronted new challenges and gained independence.

“Camp has made such a huge impression on us as a family,” says Marina.

Today, 9-year-old Talia is healthy and strong, and the family is starting to feel as though their cancer journey is behind them. The family cherishes the memories of their time at camp and is grateful that your support gave them the chance to live the joys of camp together.