The Lamer Family: Strong Kids Donor’s making a difference


“It means so much to our family… I want them [Strong Kids Campaign donors] to know that they’re helping a family that really, really needed it and it’s making a big difference in our life.”

After announcing the upcoming arrival of their third child, Jason and Shelley Lamer anticipated the natural challenge of being outnumbered by their kids and planned for the extra commitment. What they never could have planned for was Shelley’s stage three cancer diagnosis, just two weeks after the birth of their youngest child.

“Things started moving quickly because I have Stage 3 breast cancer, an aggressive form of cancer. I did about 6 weeks of radiation every single day and all this time, I had a baby and two other kids”

Parenthood comes with its fair share of challenges, but combined with the cancer, it made the task nearly impossible. “It was very difficult for us and Jason had to handle a lot. I couldn’t help, I couldn’t do anything and I would struggle daily”

They soon realized that a YMCA membership with options for fitness programs and quality child care was necessary for Shelley’s recovery as well as their kids’ health, growth and well-being.

“My oncologist tells me that I need to do 40 minutes a day of physical activity and of course we had money problems because of my illness and the YMCA gave us a membership for a very low fee”

“In the summer, my six-year-old did two camps and swimming lessons so I was able to get some rest this summer after undergoing radiation. I was having trouble being able to take care of the kids and the YMCA also offered to watch my children in child care. I don’t want them on an iPad or watching TV and this way they are learning”

Shelley is now on the road to recovery, successfully battling her cancer every single day with a little help from YMCA Calgary and the Strong Kids Campaign donors.

“I still have breast cancer, but I’m recovering from the heavy stuff, the chemo, the radiation and the kids are doing great. I get to use the [YMCA] programs, both of my daughters are in swimming lessons and I just want to express my gratitude for it all.”

Do you want to help a family in need? Donate to the Strong Kids campaign today!