"OPACC was there for our family when our son was diagnosed. The tremendous amount of support and love we were shown will never be forgotten. The delicious treats...the conversations and the hugs. OPACC lifted us up when we were down and was always there for us! Thank you for making our very difficult journey a little easier! God bless ♥️"
"Susan, never underestimate the importance of what you do! Personally, you were a huge support to me when my son was at SickKids not long ago. @opaccorg helps so many parents like myself who are otherwise unaware of the many resources available to them while they’re facing unimaginable challenges. Thanks to all of you for shining this important light."
"Thank you for all your support throughout this overwhelmingly difficult time!!"
"Every act of kindness, every cup of tea, every tissue, every hug makes such a big difference in our lives."
"OPACC supported us, and it is amazing what conversation from those who get it, shared over refreshments, can do."
"The staff is amazing and have helped us so much, they really go above and beyond!!!"
"Thanks for all the great work that you do helping families and children through a difficult time in their lives."
"Thank you for all of your support you provided for our family in our time of need last year."
"You were there for my daughter and my family while she battled osteosarcoma 16 years ago and won the fight. Thank you for all your help!!"
Alexandria F. (Certified Child Life Specialist, Credit Valley Hospital)
Thank you card
"To our friends at OPACC, How can we thank you enough. From the moment your group first began coming to CVH we could feel the impact. You are all such an incredible outlook and beacon of hope for families going through the hardest of times. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
"Dear Susan, Thank you for being my angel today. [...] Thank you for the coffee, and really beautiful blanket. The blanket made the green bench so much more comfortable! I'll never forget all these nice gestures you've done over the last few years."
"The coffee service at Sick Kids has been a nice little treat during our clinic days on Thursdays. In addition to offering us coffee and treats, Michelle has gone out of her way to offer emotional support and strength as we navigate through this difficult journey. No words can describe how grateful we are for OPACC and the selfless work done by the Parent Liaisons. Thank you!"
"If I close my eyes I can still see Susan and John’s warm smile each week when I walked into the OPACC room on the 8th floor at Sick Kids. Even though each child’s journey was unique, we spent the better part of 2 years living at the Hospital for Sick Kids with our 5 year old daughter Sarah. Unfortunately, Sarah passed away at the age of 7, but this blurb isn’t about that. This blurb is about the smiles that OPACC provided to me, Sarah and my family. The room was a place to cry, to laugh and to pretend just for a brief moment that we were a normal family in all of the chaos we lived in. OPACC was a refuge of happiness and kindness. My family and I will always remember OPACC and will always be in debt for the way they treated Sarah and our family."
"OPACC supports our parent support group here in Niagara. This is not just a support group. It's my go-to for everything. We celebrate no more chemo together, we cry when there is a relapse, we come together to help a cause, cook dinner for families, sew courage capes, and we lend a helping hand. We laugh together, we raise each other up. Life with cancer is hard, life after cancer is hard too. This group has turned my journey from just surviving to thriving. Thank you OPACC!"
"Thank you for all of the incredibly important work that you do. You make a difference in the lives of childhood cancer families."
"Thanks to each and every one of you for all that you do, and for making us parents feel cared for during our time here at Sick Kids."
"Thank you all for the endless support ! We have had some good talks during this drop-in."
"Thanks for the great work OPACC does for children and families!"
"In 2009 during Eric's first battle I was alone, fearful and terrified. I suffered in silence to be strong for Eric who was 9 years 10 months. This relapse, I reached out to OPACC and I am forever grateful to be friended during this journey and supported. I am still terrified but I am not alone! I appreciate the listening ears of Susan, Michelle, and Karen more than words can say. I appreciate the coffee/tea mornings so much that the simple gesture can make one's day during a storm of chaos. Forever grateful to OPACC."
"God bless you for all the support that you give to childhood cancer families."
"Thank you OPACC for everything you do. It doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated."
“Just want to thank Susan for her thoughtfulness. She is such an amazing, understanding, caring person. Being the only person here with my two year old, Kaeley, (ALL), Susan always look for ways she can help. She pushed my stroller to the ward where I was going. Then she bought me a coffee. What a thoughtful thing to do when you are alone and have no one to help. Keep up the good work, it makes a world of difference to have someone who truly cares.”
"I really do appreciate all support given to families like mine during these difficult times."
Via email to our Parent Liaison John
"[...] Thank you for your amazing support and understanding. You were always patient and listened to the good and the bad. We appreciate your optimism and beautiful smile that greeted us when we saw you. You and Susan helped us navigate the scary world of cancer and have made it less intimidating."
"Really appreciate all you guys do for us! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"
“Hi, we met Susan in the middle of our treatment (ALL) she was great! Offered so much information and compassion that was needed. For that we thank you Susan and OPACC.”
“To Suzi Kuczynski and John of OPACC….thanks for being there every time I needed you. True, I didn’t meet you in the best circumstances but I am very glad I met you two. Thanks to you I feel a little less lonely in a country where I have been only for 3 years. OPACC is wonderful and credit goes to you guys.”
“Susan and John are great. They are such a support and help to us through theses hard times.”
“Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers and especially to Suzi Kuczynski who sat with me while we waited for those results. Your support was incredible. While I know God is always there with us, I also know that He put you in our path yesterday to let me know He is always meeting our needs.”
"Your OPACC hospitality is always a bright spot in what can be some stressful visits to the Sears Clinic."
Via email (re: Family Fun Day)
“I would like to extend my appreciation to the organizers of this event. The joy they brought to my son and other kids and other parents like me is priceless. Regardless of the weather you guys give warmth of care to the kids who mostly needed it. To the whole staff and the C.J. Skateboard Park (owner and volunteers) who makes this event a success each year and the generosity of your family, from our hearts, thank you.”
Via email to Susan Kuczynski, Parent Liaison
“Thank you so much for being there at the hospital all these weeks and months and years. You have always been such a source of comfort and reassurance for me.”
Via email to Susan Kuczynski, Parent Liaison
“Thank you for all you have done to help parents cope through the worst nightmare imaginable. You’re a blessing.”
Via email to Susan Kuczynski, Parent Liaison
"Dear Susan, You have been like an angel, like a mother and a great friend for all of us. You have made our days much brighter and took so much of the pain away just by listening to us. [We] are very thankful for all your help and act of kindness. God bless you."
“Susan, […] we met in August after my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. You have been so helpful and supportive anytime we’ve seen you at HSC. I’m with my mom all the time and my mother in law has been with us too. You were kind enough to call my husband too.”
“Hi John and Susan. I wanted to take this chance to wish you a Merry Christmas and say thank you for offering your support and being there when even a friendly smile in the halls of 8A was all I could accept.”
"I just wanted to say thank you so very much for all that you do. This year was a challenging year, and our family certainly learned a lot."
“I wanted to say how grateful I am for organizations like yours. What you do is amazing and parents like me appreciate your efforts so very much.”
Via email to Susan Kuczynski, Parent Liaison
“You are a gift to this world and us Momcologists and Dadcologists. You really are a very special person and a gift to us all.”
"OPACC was there for us every Monday morning and Tuesday evening at Sick Kids. They helped me talk about Mia’s condition and listened with empathy and such wonderful support- John & Sue are the best! God Bless them for their selfless work. They gave me such great advice, helped me sign up for events for Mia and helped me deal with my daily struggles. The coffee and treats were so thoughtful and very much needed. Its difficult to stay strong all the time, especially when your child is suffering from any critical illness, but OPACC helped me deal with my daily and weekly struggles, and I would always leave them feeling a little bit better. They knew what I was going through which is the most important thing. Both John and Sue have lived through this. It was comforting to know that you are not alone in this journey. Yes, you have family and friends to help you, but no one really can understand your emotions and your struggles unless you have experienced them yourself. I got my strength from them. If they were able to continue on and get through their children’s illnesses, then I could too. And, we have been able to get through this."
"Thank-you for the support that you provided my friend and her family when her daughter got sick. I know it has meant so much to her."
“Without the Parent Liaison in place in 2001 (Susan), our family would not have experienced the great support we did and had the understanding we did.”
“The kids are our future. Thanks for helping them.”
“Please direct to Parent Liaison Services. They provided us with a wealth of information when our son was diagnosed with leukemia.”
“I was nominated to do the ALS ice bucket challenge .. instead of donating to ALS, I’d like to donate to OPACC .. Our son [name withheld] was diagnosed with Leukemia this May and I know how much OPACC has helped us during this difficult time .. and this is our way of saying thank you.”
“A warm thank you to John, the Parent Liason at HSC. Always kind and supportive and easy to talk with. Our daughter had just turned 16 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. It seemed to me that John really understood what Francesca was experiencing. He would often set aside her favorite pastry for when she was able to eat after the lumbar puncture. It was certainly nice to see him on clinic days. Thanks OPACC!”
“You do amazing work!”
“Keep on doing what you do. It matters.”
“You guys do an amazing job of supporting all of us in this journey!!”
“Thank you for all that you do to help us! It’s really appreciated.”
"You always have a loving smile and support that goes a long way."
"Keep up your wonderful work! Although somehow we missed you during my son's stay at SickKids, I did find your wonderful website extremely helpful following his treatment."
"Advocacy is huge. How many people desperately need this service from those able to provide it. I feel fortunate to be able to give to this cause. Best wishes."
"You've given so much hope to so many children with cancer & their parents. Please keep up the great work!"
"Thank you for all you do for parents of children who are ill."
"Your website is actually the most comprehensive list of helpful links that I have seen."
"My son is now 19 years old and does not qualify for OPACC any longer. But, I will say that while he was eligible OPACC was a wonderful program with caring and helpful people for a parent to have access to. I can never say thank you enough."
"We thank you for helping us spread the awareness. Truly we appreciate this act and so grateful for all the support - we can't thank enough esp[ecially] to Susan and John, they are the first persons I've met in Sick Kids hospital, very kind, true, caring and informative. Talking to them help[ed] hasten all the worries I had. They supported us in many ways even until Jason's wake. Thank you Susan and John, OPACC. God Bless."
Rae-Lynn N. (OPACC Volunteer)
"I am so happy I was able to run the session this evening [Tuesday evening hospital drop-in] as tonight really demonstrated to me how much having these Tuesday sessions mean to the family even if it’s a quick drop by to just say hello and have a quick chat and cup of coffee.
[After experiencing an emotional moment with a parent:] I saw in that moment how powerful these sessions are and even though I have not lived through what she is going through, my presence and shoulder to cry on was just what she needed…someone to listen to her and just be there.
Thank you again Susan for the opportunity for being part of this amazing organization that I believe is making a difference to these parents' experience at Sick Kids."
Gabrielle B. (Principal, St. Pius X Catholic School)
Via letter with donation
“Roughly three years ago, one of our Grade Two students was diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery, radiation and a year of chemotherapy, this same child – free of cancer – is now a student in Grade Five. In addition to other initiatives, the school community created a fund entitled “Alexander’s Wish” (named after the young boy in question). Monies raised through a variety of drives were directed to support organizations – selected by the student – assisting children diagnosed with cancer. This year, our fundraising is generated through monthly donations requested of our students on those days when the school uniform is not required, but rather, “civvies” are allowed. We have also continued to ask that Alexander identify those organizations that the school will be supporting and he has directed that the Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer be one. Please find enclosed a cheque in the amount of three hundred and forty-three dollars and thirty-seven cents ($343.37) in support of your organization. On behalf of the St. Pius X School community (students, staff and parents), I thank you for your work and effort on behalf of children like Alexander.”
Speech written for 2014 Toronto Inside Ride
“We’ve been invited to share a few words about how OPACC has helped us over the last year and a half and in our minds, the word “help” doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. OPACC is an organization made up of parents, friends, and family who have walked our paths before us. This is exactly what sets them apart from other organizations. They know and understand our journey when most of our loved ones cannot. They anticipate our needs before we anticipate our own. Meals have come without asking and were a welcomed relief. Conversations were easy and without judgement. And friendships grew in the most unexpected ways. John, in particular, can always find a way to make Sachi smile through jokes or play. Over the span of a year it’s been quite amusing to see how the two of them have learned to greet one another by sticking out their tongues! These are the relationships which have eased our minds and helped us feel “normal” again. There were moments at the hospital where our minds would head towards the dark side and without our Parent Liaisons, our journey could have been much longer and darker than it was. The support offered by OPACC has been invaluable to our family and so many other families whose lives this humble grassroots organization has touched. If that’s not enough, OPACC’s compilation of resources has kept us organized, taught us how to manage our emotional rollercoasters, and have kept us informed of events where we could go and have fun with the family in a safe zone. Families touched by childhood cancers are such a small community and OPACC has a vision to do so much more. It’s important that we all stay connected and support these kinds of initiatives in order to pay our experiences forward.”