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Help Sam support Celebs For Kids

Posted on 17/04/2009 12:00am

By Erin Hitchcock - Williams Lake Tribune

Ten-year-old Sam Wasstrom has been in and out of the hospital since he was three.

Diagnosed with a form of juvenile arthritis, Sam, who lives in Williams Lake, is still receiving further diagnoses for his condition, which may turn out to be Lupus, says his mother Jill Wasstrom.

"He's been sick since he was three and a half," she says. "The stuff he's gone through has been horrific."

His auto-immune disorder has meant numerous hospital visits, pain, depression, and "poking and prodding," which Sam hopes no other child will have to go through.

On Friday, April 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Sunday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sam will be at Save-On-Foods selling wristbands he designed in order to raise money for the Ross Petty Research Chair at BC Children's Hospital to help kids like him.

Sam is donating all of the money he receives through Celebs for Kids, an organization set up to help kids with arthritis and lupus.

He hopes to help find a cure so no other child will need to be a "guinea pig."

His goal is to raise $2,000 from the wristbands he is selling for a minimum donation of $5 each to help the organization and its mission to build the research centre at BC Children's Hospital.

"We definitely need something like this," Jill says.

The Celebs for Kids organization, which is on the web at, was started after Karim Chandani found out his eight-year-old daughter had lupus.

Since then, Chandani has been working to raise $4.2 million to open the first Canadian research centre for children and teens suffering from chronic autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Celebs for Kids was born after Chandani's friend, Shelagh Boyd, joined the cause. A waitress at the Shark Club, Boyd regularly encountered celebrities, so she started recruiting them to the cause.

Before they knew it, celebrities such as actor Gregory Harrison, Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic, and Canucks' Brendan Morrison joined the cause.

Last Thursday, Sam attended a Vancouver Canuck's game, where he gave the players wristbands after the game.

A walk is also planned on May 10 in North Vancouver to further help with the cause.

Anyone wanting to purchase a wristband can contact Sam at 250-398-7888.