Jon de Leon

“I will forever be grateful to The AFC for the help they provided”

– Jon de Leon

From 2008 to 2012, my mother was undergoing treatment for cancer. For the first couple of years during her cancer journey, I was dividing my time between Stratford and Toronto to help with her care until I decided to leave the Stratford Festival in 2009 to care for her full time. For the first couple of years upon my return she seemed to be doing well with her treatment along with the care that I was providing. But by the winter of 2012, her condition worsened and I was no longer able to work part time or take short contracts in television or theatre to supplement my income. Also, we decided to pursue alternative medicine, which is not covered by OHIP or insurance, to complement her cancer treatments. As a result, I turned to The AFC to help me with my financial stresses incurred at that time.

Given my situation, I had nowhere else to turn. As a self-employed artist, I did not qualify for government assistance for caregiving. Help from The AFC eased my financial burden and allowed me to focus my time and energy in providing care for my mother entering the end of her cancer journey. There are no words to describe the emotional and physical fallout that cancer had on my family and me as a primary caregiver. With help from The AFC, I was able to devote all my love and energy toward my mother and family, without the added stress or pressure from financial worries.

I will forever be grateful to The AFC for the help they provided. Without it, I would have lost time with my mother in her final days.