Fuel for a journey that no one plans for

Kristen recalls her family’s very first WCK meal, and what the provision of food has meant to them through their cancer journey.

Kristen and her family standing outside their house smiling at the camera.

It was the very first night we checked into the hospital. 


It was March 3. We went to the ER thinking our three-year-old boy, Sterling, had an issue with his hips. Then, in the ER, we learned that he had Leukemia. We hadn’t planned to be moving into the hospital that night and it was a huge shock. We didn’t have a change of clothes for him or for us, any of our toothbrushes…we were just completely not ready for it. 


We were in the ER for about six hours, and it was well into the evening that we got into a room. My partner John and I had barely eaten for the whole day and it finally hit us just how exhausted we were. We were on an isolation protocol, so we had to stay in the room. Neither of us wanted to leave Sterling alone anyway, because we were having the most stressful night of our lives.

The nurse who was there was amazing. She told us about the freezer in the parents’ lounge with WCK meals. She even heated the food and brought it back to us while on isolation. I can remember exactly what I ate that first night – Pad Thai. It was the first meal of substance since we got the diagnosis. It was the first day of our cancer journey and it made a huge difference. Otherwise, we would have just gone to bed snacking on some crackers. 


Every day after that until we got our lives sorted out, we were able to get WCK food from the freezer.

WCK meals in the freezer.

Being able to eat warm, delicious meals helped us a ton. Getting hungry makes you more anxious and stressed, and not being hungry helps you think a little more clearly. What an impact it had to be able to eat a nourishing meal – this was such a comfort.

WCK’s provision of snacks was great too – they were a hot commodity. Some days we would pop into the lounge early to see if there were any left, and if so, we’d grab one to snack on later. It was weirdly fun to have something silly like that to aim for!

When we moved back home, the first WCK home delivery came at the perfect time, when it was hard for us to think about making meals. Life was tricky at that time: one of us needed to be home with Sterling all the time and provide his extra care, but we both had to alternate work. Spring colds were going around, and we worried about Sterling and his twin sister Lyne getting sick. We did end up at the ER a bunch of times through the summer with different illnesses. There are just so many things hanging over your head during the day, and then you’re trying to work on top of all that, it takes the last ounce of energy. By the end of the day, we would just be spent. Having dinner taken care of was amazing. Being able to give the kids something healthy from the WCK deliveries was a great relief.

When someone’s going through something difficult, bringing them a delicious meal is a way of delivering some comfort. As a family that receives the meals, we can say, the care and support is felt in that way. Someone gave us this meal and now we get to nourish ourselves with it. The generosity really translates. Fear is also a big emotion through all this, and just having one practical burden eased, with such generosity from other people, is a palpable feeling.

There’s something so loving about making sure someone’s freezer isn’t empty.


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