This beautiful family photo was taken on September 3rd 2023. Just one month and one day after the MacDonald family’s lives took a traumatic turn that they could never have prepared for.
Over the last couple of months this young family has had to come to terms with their new reality.
On the afternoon of August 2nd, Jeff MacDonald had a seizure at home. It happened within a blink of an eye.
One minute he was talking to his wife while sitting on their living room chair, his wife Cassie, standing in the kitchen. Their youngest, Elias, was playing in the living room. Kyla, Aiden and Owen were upstairs.
Cassie screamed for her kids, and they called 911.
Cassie found herself giving CPR to her husband in front of their children, screaming and begging for her husband not to leave her and the kids screaming for their Dad to not leave them. To just hang on. Help was coming.
Jeff wasn’t responding. Cassie was certain he was dying in her arms with their children watching. Cassie said it was the most helpless feeling in the world.
The Fire department, EMTs and police all showed up quickly. They removed the family from the house so they could help him. Miraculously, they got him to come through. He was rushed to Joseph Brant. A cat scan discovered that Jeff had 3–4 lesions on his brain and 2 nodules on his right lung. Lung biopsy, blood work, more tests and 8 days in the hospital. On August 17th, just 1 day after his 37th Birthday, the MacDonald family got the devastating news that Jeff has Stage 4 Metastatic Cancer – melanoma. The point of origin is unknown but it has gone through his blood to his lung, and also to his brain.
Jeff is now under the care of a team of oncologists at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. With treatment, they have given Jeff 40 months at best.
Jeff had his 1st round of radiation on September 5th. On September 6th, he was back in the hospital. Things took a turn for the worse. September 8th at 8pm Cassie was told to get the kids to the hospital, that they had 24–48hours left with him.
This amazing father, his family’s warrior, fought for his life, for his kids, for his wife and miraculously he was discharged September 13th.
He’s home. Doing everything as he would normally. Just adding in a few more house projects – building furniture, redecorating the house. Walks, walks and more walks.
Nothing is stopping him.
Thank you so much to the MacDonald family for sharing your story and for being this year’s Three Little Wishes family.
The glamjulz community is here to support you in any way that we can.
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