The past four years have been a wild and often frightening roller coaster ride for Kim and Phil Vaillancourt, who are parenting six children while managing Kim’s brain cancer.
Through the uncertainty of Kim Vaillancourt’s prognosis and the hard days of living with a brain tumor, the Vaillancourts have relied on their faith in God to keep them grounded.
The Vaillancourts had been raising their two biological children when they decided to open their home up to foster children. They soon fell in love with three little girls who needed a home, and decided to formally adopt them into their family.
In December 2015, just three days after the adoption ceremony, Kim Vaillancourt was diagnosed with brain cancer.
The cancer was a rare and aggressive glioblastoma, with tumors growing so rapidly that doctors feared Vaillancourt had just months, if not weeks, left to live.
She was also 20 weeks pregnant at the time and was determined to delay radiation and chemotherapy protocol until the birth of her child.
The family shared what it looked like to welcome a new baby home while also preparing for the likelihood that their wife and mother would soon be deceased in a 2016 interview with WGRZ.
Phil Vaillancourt stepped into a full-time parenting role in addition to working full time and also caring for his sick wife.
Community members rallied around the family, providing prayer, logistical day-to-day support and ensuring the needs of the children were being met.
The oldest kids, Ryan and Hailey, 12 and 11 at the time, started taking on more responsibilities at home while grappling with the news that time with their mom was limited and uncertain.
“I know it’s happening for a reason,” Ryan told WGRZ. “I just don’t know what the reason is.”
The Vaillancourts have relied on their faith in God to see their family through whatever ending He sends their way.
“I’m in one of two places. I either get to stay with Phil and the kids and live a long life. Or I get to go home and be with Jesus,” Kim Vaillancourt said. “I’m OK. He’s the one that’s stuck holding everything and trying to juggle all of this craziness.”
On April 8, 2016, the Vaillancourts welcomed their baby boy, Wyatt Eli. They have described him as their joy, the perfect completion to their family.
Since then, life for Kim Vaillancourt has been a steady stream of MRI’s, CT scans and cautious optimism as, so far, her cancerous tumors have not returned.
Fast forward to May of 2019, where Vaillancourt shared another hopeful update with her followers on her Facebook page, Stay Kim Strong.
“I am so abundantly blessed by God!” she wrote. “The doctors saw what looked like a lump that looked like a cancerous tumor in my head with a lot of swelling around it. They all thought it was wise to remove it.”
“Today we received awesome news! The mass or whatever it supposed to be called was sent to Pathology,” she continued.
“The mass was not a tumor, it contained no cancer! It was just more radiation effects ?. I do still need to recover from the brain surgery, but I DO NOT NEED ANY ADDITIONAL CANCER TREATMENTS right now!!!!”
The cancer journey has given Kim Vaillancourt a new perspective on life, according to WGRZ.
Before cancer, she described herself as a controlling mother who worried too much about minor details of life. Today, she has learned to simply shower her spouse and children with love day after day.
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