Canada 'We're in debt with karma': Wave of support overwhelms young Edmonton family facing stage 4 cancer

16:07  04 december  2017
16:07  04 december  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

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A new Edmonton father and his family are overwhelmed by support they've received from the community after finding out he has Stage 4 cancer . " We ' re in debt with karma ," Allison said. "It just purifies our heart to see that much support behind us.

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'We're in debt with karma': Wave of support overwhelms young Edmonton family facing stage 4 cancer© Zoe Todd/CBC 'We're in debt with karma': Wave of support overwhelms young Edmonton family facing stage 4 cancer

Seeing her six-foot-five-inch husband wiggle a toe on his right foot gives Allison Carmichael hope he will be able to help their infant daughter learn how to walk.

"I know he will recover," she said. "I'm hoping."

Jared Carmichael was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in October. The disease has taken root in his spine, paralyzing the 35-year-old father from the waist down.

Most days he's too tired to talk, but on Saturday he managed to prop nine-month-old Harper against his chest as she cooed "Da-da."

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A crib for Harper is nestled between tubes and flashing monitors in a corner of Jared's room at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.

"It's hard to not see her for four or five weeks," he said.

Memories of the past two months, as Jared's condition deteriorated, are burned into his wife's mind.

"I'm just thinking about the future and it's very overwhelming," Allison said. "It's sad, it's scary, it's horrible.

"As a new mom, it's really hard. Nobody would expect this, but it is what it is and if I was chosen to fight this battle then I'm the one. I just have to power through it. I have to stay strong for my daughter and I have to stay strong for my husband."

Faced with mounting medical bills and expenses while on maternity leave, Allison posted a desperate plea for help online .

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"I could just see him stressing out hard," she said. "He cannot have any more stress than what he has. He needs to be healthy."

Family, friends and strangers responded by donating more than $15,000.

Colleagues in the hospitality industry, where the couple met while on the job, also set up a separate fundraiser through Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels .

"We're in debt with karma," Allison said. "It just purifies our heart to see that much support behind us.

"For people in this situation, just know that there are plenty of people who are willing to help. You've just got to ask for it."

'Beautiful, amazing people'

She waited until donations surpassed $10,000 before telling her husband about the fundraising efforts.

In an online post , Jared described his surprise at the outpouring of support from his community.

"The feeling is almost indescribable," he wrote. "It is nice to be able to keep my mind on things that really matter, like trying to make this situation seem as normal as possible for my wife and daughter, and my recovery.

"Give yourselves a big pat on the back, you beautiful, amazing people."

Jared is about to start his third round of chemotherapy. The family expects to find out if the treatment has been effective after Christmas.

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