Bryce Jude

Bryce Jude – wise beyond his years – was an incredibly courageous, tough, hockey and sports crazy boy. He was an amazing big brother to Mason and Colby and an adored first born to Dev and Steve and a great friend to many.

In October 2009, at the age of 4, he began the fight of his life when he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, Philadelphia Chromosome positive (ph+) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He fought long and hard, always with a mini hockey stick in his hand and wearing his beloved Ottawa Senators jersey. After 165 nights and countless days in CHEO, Bryce finally was in remission and cancer-free. In May 2011 he finally got back to school, signed up for the local baseball and soccer team and had an amazing summer! He even told his mum “I don’t feel like I have cancer anymore”.

In September 2011 however, the family was devastated when the headaches returned with the news that Bryce had relapsed in his central nervous system. He underwent a new intensive treatment protocol as an inpatient at CHEO. Then in early January, Bryce was airlifted to Toronto’s SickKids hospital where in February, he underwent a bone marrow transplant (courtesy of his little brother Mason). Bryce was once again the little boy playing hockey in the hallway and posting “No Leaf Fans Allowed” on his hospital bedroom door.

The Jude family of 5, having relocated to the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto, spent the winter, spring and beginning of the summer in Toronto as Bryce recuperated. In late June, they packed up their belongings and with big, happy faces of relief returned to their home in Ottawa.

Within days of their arrival, with boxes not even unpacked, Bryce’s headaches returned. Less than 2 weeks after returning to their house and own beds, it was confirmed by CHEO that his cancer had returned once again and he had relapsed in his central nervous system for the second time. Bryce responded well and his cancer was soon back in remission and both CHEO and Sick kids were looking at clinical trials around the world that might finally provide the cure that Bryce needed. However, despite realizing his dream of playing mini sticks with Nick Foligno at Canadian Tire Centre, who had become a good friend and was one of his favourite Ottawa Senators players, Bryce started to show some serious neurological side effects of all the heavy treatment he had received to fight the cancer within his central nervous system. Bryce quickly deteriorated and was moved from ICU to the amazing Rogers House environment to spend his last few days as comfortable as possible with his family and friends by his side. He earned his wings September 7, 2012.

By sharing Bryce’s incredible story of courage, the Jude family are trying to give individuals and groups a greater understanding of the journey that is childhood cancer, its’ ups and downs and keep Bryce’s memory alive while having a direct local impact families affected by pediatric cancer.