Family, friends and even strangers have come together to put on a bottle drive on Saturday for the family of a special little boy.
Keian Blundell, 6, is in the fight of his life, battling cancer for the third time.
Team Keian is asking people to bring bottles and cans or financial donations to the George Preston Recreation Centre on Saturday, Aug. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Many people are putting in time on Saturday to help sort bottles, because they are moved by the devastating fight Keian has been in for more than a year. The time spent at B.C. Children’s Hospital and away from work has put his parents in financial hardship, said Aimee Hildebrandt, family friend and organizer of the bottle drive.
Parents Chantal and Ryan had everything any couple could ever want. They had a fun-loving, bright young son Keian and a brand new baby boy Joren in their arms.
Then on July 10, 2012, with Joren was only five weeks old, Keian was diagnosed with T-cell acute Lymphoblastic leukemia. He responded to treatment well and went into remission. Sadly, he relapsed by December.
Chantal and Ryan both gave up work to be with Keian around the clock. They gave up their home in Langley to live in a trailer on site at B.C. Children’s Hospital.
His best chance at life, doctors said, was to get a bone marrow transplant from a sibling. Joren was a perfect match and just before his first birthday he gave his big brother the gift of life. Keian celebrated his sixth birthday isolated in a small room in order to protect his newly-forming immune system.
Chantal tried to go back to work this summer. But just when the family thought they were beating the disease, it has come back, worse than ever before. Doctors aren’t hopeful, but the Blundells are, and are hoping for everyone’s prayers to fight.
In the meantime, Ryan’s EI has run out. The hospital has provided them with an apartment nearby for now, but they face being homeless.
“They haven’t left Keian’s side since he was back in hospital two weeks ago,” said Hildebrandt.
She held a similar bottle drive last week in Maple Ridge and already has given the Blundells a cheque for $1,100 from that fundraiser.
“It was so awesome to have complete strangers come together for them,” she said.
The Blundells have been given a slim chance by doctors that Keian’s cancer could go into remission and they are holding onto that chance with all their might, said Hilderbrant.
“They are not giving up and neither is Keian. He belives in super heroes and he thinks they will save him,” she said.
Chantal has been keeping a blog about Keian’s cancer fight called keiansjourney.blogspot.ca.