It came, we fought, Isaac won.
Such was the inscription on a 1.5-metre trophy presented to six-year-old Isaac Ciarlo as he celebrated the end of his chemotherapy treatment with a party at Funhaven on Monday, Dec. 3.
“This party is definitely, definitely a victory celebration,” said Isaac’s mother Trisha. “We’re here and Isaac is fine.”
Isaac, a Grade 2 St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School student, was diagnosed with stage four kidney and lung cancer earlier this year on March 16. After eight months of treatments, he was given the “all-clear” from CHEO.
Isaac was all smiles as he ran around the play centre with some of his friends.
His favourite part about finishing treatment?
“I get to have a party,” he said, adding he was looking forward to playing a round of laser tag.
Trisha and Jon, Isaac’s father, spoke to the crowd about how thankful they were for all the support received by the family.
“We’ve never felt more loved,” said Trisha, adding have people dropped off food, cards, and words of encouragement.
“People being here … it’s great,” said Jon. “It’s incredible. It really, really is.”
The family put together a memory box, now overflowing with cards.
“One day, (Isaac) is going to go through that,” said Trisha. “He won and that is cause for a huge celebration.”
She gave a special thanks to Isaac’s best friend Rowan Kovacs.
“Rowan, you never saw the sick boy,” she said. “Your friendship healed a lot scars.”
Isaac’s brothers, Matthew and Jacob, were also thanked for standing by their brother’s side.
“This group of people, every single day, supported us,” said Trisha, gesturing to the crowded room. “When you open your heart and put it out there to people, they’re there to pick you up.”
Around 170 people came out to celebrate with the Ciarlos. Funhaven, located on Baxter Road, sponsored the evening of food and games for the family as part of its community outreach.
“One of our missions at Funhaven is just to make life better,” said Sebastian Deneault, marketing manager for the organization. “We can actually give back to the community.”
Tricia said she didn’t expect such a grand gesture from the business. When she contacted the organization, she was only hoping for a discount so “we could make this occasion memorable for Isaac and his brothers, and also thank our friends for the generosity and support showered upon us throughout this ordeal,” she said.
“You can imagine my shock and surprise when they immediately replied with ‘Yes’ and ‘don't worry about it – we’ve got it.’ This is such a grand gesture, one for which we are so very grateful.
“We are closing the door on cancer, hopefully forever.”