Classmates Mobilize for Lola
Published: September 30, 2010 3:00 PM
Campbell River Mirror
Updated: October 01, 2010 9:37 AM
When six-year old Lola Audet fell ill with cancer, ÃƒÆ’‚¬°cole Mer et Montagne immediately jumped in to help.
The school community is raising money to ease the financial burden that living in Vancouver while Audet undergoes treatment, has placed on the family by.
"It hits close to home when a child is stricken by any sort of disease and we thought we'd get something going for them," said Micheline Hanson, who works for french School District 93. "As soon as the school community became aware, we wanted to know how we could help."
Audet, a Gr. 1 student at ÃƒÆ’‚¬°cole Mer et Montagne, was diagnosed with leukemia the night before the first day of school.
Mom Thereasa Martin said she received a call from the doctor at 9 p.m. that night with the results of Audet's blood test and was told to bring her daughter down to the emergency room immediately. Audet's hemoglobin count was so low that she was flown by helicopter to Vancouver's BC Children's Hospital. Martin says she has not seen her Campbell River home since.
Along with her mom, Audet has been staying at Ronald McDonald House with her dad, Allan, and her little sister Lizzie, 3, while in between treatments at the Children's Hospital.
"Ronald McDonald House is really awesome because people understand what you're going through and they provide so much support," said Martin. "But it's really cramped, with the four of us staying in one bedroom with just two single beds and it's hard to find privacy."
Martin said she has been overwhelmed by the show of support her family has received.
"I'm just really appreciative, that's what I tear up most about," said Martin. "We didn't even ask, they're just there. It really means a lot to all of us."
The school has set up a trust fund at Scotia Bank and donations can be made starting Oct. 8, simply give Lola Audet's name. On Oct. 8, 1,000 bottles of selected red and white wines can be purchased at the Liquor Store at the Village, beside Discovery Foods in Willow Point, and $5 will be donated to the fund. And on Oct. 23 to 24, the school will be holding a community garage sale in the ÃƒÆ’‚¬°cole Mer et Montage (1680 Evergreen Rd.) gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Donations of items from the community are being accepted and can be dropped off at the school Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or picked up by calling 250-923-0340.
The family is expected to be in Vancouver for six to eight months and Hanson hopes the fundraisers will help with the costs of being away from home for such a long period of time.
Martin says the whole ordeal has been very stressful but her daughter is "as feisty as ever" and has been really brave during her treatments.
Right now Audet goes to the Children's Hospital once a week for intravenous chemotherapy. Martin says her daughter is doing really well, and once she starts to lose her hair, the whole family plans to shave their heads to make things a bit easier for her.
Audet's teacher says everyone at school can't wait to have her back.
"Lola is full of smiles and laughter, I'm sure her determination and her indomitable spirit will see her through this difficult time and will take her far in life," said Kristiane Sormany Albert. "There is a hole in the class without Lola and the students and I love her and miss her very much."
Despite everything the family has gone through, Martin remains positive.
"As much as it sucks to have your kid get cancer, we're really lucky," said Martin. "The type (of cancer) she got has a high cure rate and we've had so much support from everybody - we're really lucky."