Edmonton Woman’s Large Family Helps Her Get Through Cancer Diagnosis

When something as alarming as a cancer diagnosis happens in your life, you turn to the people that are closest to you. For Pam Hills, she didn’t have just a couple of family members that she could lean on, she has seven children, her husband and her mother that could lend support. Before being diagnosed, Hills and her husband Greg had gone through the adoption process several times, ending up taking four children from foster care into a full-time adoption status.


After fully adopting four children, Hills got the news that she had cancer, and during her battle with the disease had her father pass away. The family would continue to grow, though, as the Hills have ended up with a total of seven children. Hills looked to her children for support during these tough times, saying that “I look back to it and I think…It was all meant to be. Ever single step.”


It wasn’t easy at first, though, as the diagnosis that Hills received left her stunned. When she was on the phone with her doctor, Hills got the bad news and said that “You get this feeling of lightheadedness – like your whole body, the blood drains. You’re just, like, paralyzed.” Hills found herself on the floor of her bathroom, unable to process the news that she was just told. When one of her children knocked on the door, she realized that she couldn’t just take the diagnosis lying down. “I had seven kids, I had to pick myself up off the floor,” she said.


When Hills was going through several surgeries and cancer treatment, the older children of the bunch helped to fulfill many of the duties that Hills couldn’t do, as well as her husband and her parents. Among those older children was Turner, who said that “It was just tough. It grew me as a person…our family, I think, as well. We kind of had to be role models for (the younger children) – how to act and how to take it.”


Hills was eventually found to be cancer free following the tough process of cancer treatment, and her children that have an 18 year difference between the oldest and youngest now know what it’s like to grow up quickly. They’ve all become closer through the years, and Hills says that a cancer diagnosis helped to make them all a tighter family. With those seven children, Hills says her life is now a “blessing.”