The community is coming together to support two Nanaimo kids with cancer whose lives have been uprooted.
Fundraisers for three-year-old Esme Rinald, who is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and 10-year-old Markus Yule, who is fighting brain cancer, have been set up for Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. Both Esme and Markus's families have been forced to relocate from Nanaimo to stay at B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver.
Friends have set up the events for Esme and Markus's families, who are not able to work while supporting the kids through aggressive treatments.
In the Rinald family's case, the journey started a few weeks ago.
Esme's music teacher Carmen Falconer set up a fundraiser thinking the family would need the cash, but Esme's parents have asked that all money from the fundraiser goes to support B.C. Children's Hospital instead. Esme's father Don Rinald wrote on a blog he started to log the experience that he thinks the hospital can use the money more, joking: "Hopefully they will spend it on new cots for parents."
"We have a relatively good prognosis, amazing support from family and friends, and enough money to get us through. So as terrible as it is, we are really quite fortunate in some ways," he said in an email.
Falconer said Esme will be in treatment for two years.
"It was definitely a shock when (her parents) heard it was leukemia and that she will be in treatment for two years," she said.
"She's braver than brave." Markus's parents Mark and Yvonne have put everything on hold to be with their son and currently have no income.
Jumparound has organized a fundraiser for Oct. 26 for Markus, who has been a finalist on America's Funniest Home Videos and is described as very compassionate and caring.
The event is a giant kid's party at the Beban Park barnyard being called "An Inflatable Halloween," because it will feature inflatable jumping toys. It will run from 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Esme's fundraiser will take place next Saturday, Nov. 2, and is a children's musical narrative of Robert Munch's The Paper Bag Princess (published by Annick Press and adopted for the stage by Carmen and Donna Falconer). It will take place at Brechin United Church and starts at 4 p.m.
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