Sometimes, the most challenging situations in life bring out the very best in people. That’s certainly been the experience for a Bredenbury area family, after their teenage son was diagnosed suddenly with cancer in 2015.
Sixteen year old Chad Young started feeling some discomfort in his back last Summer, just as the school year was ending. He then noticed a small bump on his hip, and X-Rays were taken. By early autumn, he had been diagnosed with cancer, and in January this year he was moved to Toronto, where he underwent two operations, one of which removed his left hip and left leg. In the last few weeks, Chad was moved back to hospital in Saskatoon, where he is now recovering with a positive prognosis.
While those are the stark facts of the story, they do not even begin to touch on the REAL story behind them. It’s a story of positiveness, a story of encouragement, and a story of the amazing outpouring of love. That’s the message Chad’s parents, Dallas and Paula Young really want to share, and after hearing it… we agree!
First, there is the overwhelming encouragement and love that has been shown to the family by friends and family from the local area. Even teachers from Saltcoats who hadn’t taught Chad in their classrooms for three years were calling to encourage them while the family was in Toronto. It demonstrated the sense of connection, the sense of community that exists in this area.
Dallas said simply, “We live in a wonderful place, we have really been looked after by friends and family and the community!” From phone calls, to visits, to local fundraising efforts, the people of the area have truly rallied to encourage and support the family, and for that, Dallas and Paula express “A big thank you!”
Secondly, there was a unique encouragement given by some pretty big names from the sporting world. While in hospital in Toronto, Chad received a visit from NHL Hall-of-famer and former Toronto Maple Leaf Darryl Sittler. Sittler had heard about Chad from Barry Dilts (Assistant to Melville-Saltcoats MLA Bob Bjornerud) while he was at the Sports Banquet in Melville recently, and that’s all it took for the great sportsman to move into action.
Sittler gave Chad a hat with his “27” number on it, signed it, and wrote on it the date of his induction to the NHL hall of fame. But he went further still… He encouraged Chad by complementing the young man on his great attitude. He told him, “You have a good attitude, you keep that and you will do fine!” Also visiting Chad were other former Maple Leafs Wendel Clark and Tiger Williams.
Of these sportsmen, Barry Dilts said “All of these role models are an inspiration to all, definitely real ‘class act individuals’.” And this was echoed by Dallas, who said “Sittler’s visit was not about Darryl Sittler, Sittler was there just to cheer up Chad.”
Thirdly, there is the encouragement of the people in the medical community. Dallas was very clear that he and his family wanted to express their heart-felt appreciation for the doctors and nurses both in Toronto and Saskatoon. From the three surgeons in Toronto who made it clear from the start that there was hope, to the nurses in the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, it was crystal clear that these professionals were, in the words of Dallas. “Amazing!”
So, as you can see, although the situation was challenging in the extreme for the family, life-changing for sure, the thread of love and encouragement has woven its way through the experience to illuminate it with hope. And that leads to perhaps the most amazing encouragement element of it all.
Dallas said something pretty amazing, given all they have been through. He said “This is a good news story.” The reason he can say that is because of the way that Chad himself is handling it.
At age sixteen, Chad was certainly old enough to know the challenge that faced him when told of his condition, and yet he was also mature enough to approach it with an inner spark of courage, and that indefinable quality of positiveness that marks this young man as being someone very special.
Darryl Sittler recognized that winning attitude, and so do Chad’s parents. You see, when people visit Chad, despite all that he is going through, HE is encouraging THEM. Read that again, for therein lies a secret to so many things in life… HE is encouraging THEM.
Chad is moving ahead into the recovery process (even though it means further chemotherapy and physiotherapy) with an attitude that sees positiveness in the moment, and with determination to boldly advance into the future.
Yes, Barry Dilts was right when he said the sports professionals are a class act, but it sure sounds like the real class act here is Chad Young.
WAY TO GO CHAD!!!!!
We are very grateful to Dallas and Paula for sharing this experience with Parkland Regional News. But let us not allow the flow of love to end with the publication of this story. I want to now encourage all the readers to keep on rooting for this family, and for those who pray, to keep Chad in their prayers. May we collectively be a source of silent goodwill and good wishes for his continued recovery, and for the well-being of his family.