A fundraiser is being held on Sunday at a coffee shop in Lower Sackville, N.S., for the family of a young boy battling cancer.
Apartment 3 Espresso Bar on Sackville Drive will be donating half of its proceeds from every latte to the family of three-year-old Jude Angus, who’s battling a rare type of head and neck cancer.
“We felt like this was a chance for us to be able to provide our community a chance for them to the support the family,” said Alex Stephen, co-owner of the coffee shop.
“I know personally from having family members that are sick, there’s something that only the doctors can do but there’s something that only the community can do to help.”
In January 2018, Jude was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Nasopharynx at the age of two. He went through a year and a half of chemotherapy and 28 days of radiation.
Back in May, Jude’s family was thrilled to learn that Jude was declared cancer free. But his mother, Ashley MacDonald, says he started experiencing nosebleeds and had to return to the hospital.
In July, they learned the cancer had returned.
“At first we were told that it was likely a side effect from the radiation he had had the year before, but we had a feeling deep down that this wasn’t the case,” MacDonald said. “Jude had relapsed and his chances were not good. We were told that the first treatment for this type of cancer is often the best chance and it didn’t work for him.”
The plan was for Jude to complete two cycles of two different types of chemotherapy. But on Friday, his family was told the tumour had grown.
“Jude has been so happy and energized lately so although we have been nervous and anxious about these scans, we really thought that the results would be different,” MacDonald stated.
Following his relapse, MacDonald’s boyfriend has taken a leave from work to spend more time with Jude.
Since then, she says, money’s been tight.
“It’s been a great help having him at home and in the hospital with us but it’s difficult where I don’t have an income and he is only receiving half of his,” MacDonald said.
“Money isn’t everything, but time is.”
MacDonald says fundraisers and donations “mean the world” to her family, as it will allow them to put more of their focus on Jude and his health.
“We would be lost without this community and we will be forever grateful, no matter what happens,” she said. “No matter how big or how small, it all helps us so much.”
Since announcing the fundraiser, called Lattes for Love, Stephen says the response from the community has been overwhelming.
“It’s just beautiful to see people’s heart, you know?” Stephen said. “We didn’t know how it was going to go or how many people would hear about it, but it’s beautiful just to see the community band together and say, ‘Hey, let’s do all that we can to support.'”
“It’s going to be an exciting day.”
Lattes for Love will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Stephen says there will be a love jar on hand, where customers will be able to make an additional donation.
“Sometimes during these times you feel so helpless,” Stephen said, “but there’s always something good to be done.”