Thief was a no-show for Erin Kreiter
Under monsoon-like conditions, Langley’s Erin Kreiter met the off-duty police officers who have been volunteering their weekends to help her.
The officers from Burnaby, Delta and Langley braved the pouring rain on Sunday, May 4, to powerwash a private school in Surrey, with the proceeds going to Kreiter — a 28-year-old woman whose career in science was interrupted when she was paralyzed by a rare neuromuscular disorder.
“There’s even more officers jumping on board because they want to help too,” said retired Langley RCMP officer John Gould, whose company, Dominion Power Washing, is supplying the commercial-grade pressure washers for the “Friends 4 Erin” initiative. He came up with the idea to help the Kreiters after running into Erin and her father, a former colleague at the Langley detachment.
But Erin had hoped to meet another person at the volunteer event.
In an unexpected turn of events, a man who stole $11,000 worth of Gould’s power washing equipment a few years ago while Gould was undergoing a bone marrow transplant himself, was expected to volunteer his time to powerwash for Erin — as part of his community service.
Gould asked the judge sentencing the 38-year-old, of no fixed address, to release him on the condition he would do powerwashing for Erin, rather than go to jail. The judge agreed and it was expected that he was to show up or go to jail. He is now facing immediate arrest, as he did not show up. With a lengthy criminal history, Gould was hoping this might be the change the guy needed.
“We had hoped, but it just isn’t going to happen for him,” said Gould.
Now Gould is back focused on helping Erin, and his weekends are filling up with work.
For $150, Langley residents (and only Langley residents) can arrange to have the off-duty officers powerwash outside commercial building sidewalks or parking lots — weekends only.
One hundred per cent raised will go to help Erin and her family, Gould said.
Since The Times featured this story a couple weeks ago, Gould said he has been “buried in work.”
“We will be doing this all summer — there is no end date,” he said. More than $1,000 was raised in one weekend of work, recently, he said.
Even after the record-breaking rainfall, a Burnaby RCMP officer emailed his colleagues saying what a great experience it was to meet Erin and to help out, giving so little time of himself for so much return, said Gould.
Just over a year ago, after a sudden illness, the 28-year-old Kreiter was forced to give up working on cancer research at the University of Alberta.
She was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis, which left her a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, unable to breathe unassisted and requiring 24 hour care.
Gould is a friend of Kreiter’s father, Sgt. Tim Kreiter, who is currently on leave from his job with the serious crime section to look after his daughter.
The main floor of the Kreiter family home in Langley has been renovated to add a wheelchair-accessible bedroom and special bathroom, as well as wider hallways, doors and ramps, a bed lift and specialized bed.
Gould was given three years to live after he was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.
Thanks to a bone marrow transplant from a 20-year-old donor from Germany, a grateful Gould is now in complete remission.
“I just want to pay it forward,” he said.
More information about friends4erin can be found online at dominionpowerwashing.com/friends4erin/ and cleanings can be booked on the website. If you want to make a donation to Erin, there is a Paypal account on the website.
Donations can also be made at the Murrayville TD Bank – Transit: 9190 Account 6320987.
— with files from Dan Ferguson