Miracle Weekend across BC
Did you know that 67 per cent of the nearly 87,000 patients who visit BC Children’s Hospital each year come from outside the City of Vancouver? That’s more than 58,000 children who must travel long distances. Some of them make the trip many times a year.
This year for Miracle Weekend, June 4 and 5, we are going on the road to visit a few of these families in their hometowns!
Take a look below for a sneak peek of who you'll meet and dn’t forget to tune into Miracle Weekend on Global BC, Saturday, June 4 at 7 pm through Sunday, June 5 at 5:30 pm to hear from these incredible families from Kamloops, Prince George, Chilliwack, and Victoria. They’ve graciously taken the time to share their experiences at their home-away-from-home, BC Children’s Hospital.
SHARE YOUR STORY! We may share it live, at Miracle Weekend. Submit your story here.
Livia Frank from Kamloops
When Livia’s never ending “cold” reached a desperate state, a doctor in her hometown of Kamloops finally found something that could explain her illness – a mass in the back of her throat. Within a few days Livia was sent to BC Children’s Hospital and admitted to the oncology ward. After many tests, an MRI confirmed that the mass in her head was large--over 11 cm--and had reached her skull, filled her nasal cavity to the tip of her nose, and had continued down to her throat. Livia was sedated for five days after the MRI to allow her body to rest – something the tumour did not allow her to do before.
When Livia woke up, she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer. During chemotherapy and other treatments and after more than 20 surgeries, her tumour shrank. On May 10, 2014, Livia and her family were able to return home to Kamloops with the support of home nursing. “We were so grateful to have these caring, compassionate nurses in our home,” says Livia’s mom. “It was comforting to have support at home and not feel like we are flapping in the wind trying to get a grip on this new [life].”
On April 7, 2015, after over one year in treatment, Livia went back to school for the first time. That November, her MRI showed fantastic results with no regrowth of the tumour. The family cannot be more thankful for the wonderful staff and caregivers at BC Children’s Hospital. “We know that we would not be where we are today without each and every one of them.”
Meet Livia on Sunday at 12:20pm and two other Kamloops families, the Turners and Harbaruks at 2:20 pm and 3:45pm.
Collyns Doran from Prince George
The joys of becoming first-time parents are like none other. The Dorans experienced this with their daughter Collyns. But new parenthood brings with it many unknowns; it’s not easy to gauge what could be considered normal development. When the couple noticed Collyns wasn’t gaining weight as quickly as she might, and she hadn’t hit her developmental milestones at the same rate as her peers, the Dorans grew concerned.
Collyns’s doctors and geneticists suspected she had underlying genetic condition, but it wasn’t until the CAUSES Research Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital was established that the family could get a chance at a diagnosis. The CAUSES Research Clinic provides genome-sequencing, clinical evaluation, and genetic counselling to families of children dealing with rare and undiagnosed conditions. Since June 2015, the CAUSES Clinic has seen 70 families from Vancouver, Courtenay, Prince George, Kelowna, and Victoria.
Check in on Collyns on Sunday at 4:20pm and the two other families from Prince George, the Torravilles and Nicholsons, also on Sunday at 11:30am and 12:30pm.
Angelina Kereliuks from Chilliwack
Before Angelina was even born, doctors diagnosed the baby with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA): her arteries were backwards and oxygenated blood was not being pumped through her body. While still in utero, Angelina relied on her mother for oxygen. But as soon as she was born, the baby required immediate medical care. Her entire family – mom, dad, brother, and two sisters – temporarily moved from Chilliwack to Vancouver, where they stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald House while Angelina and her mom were monitored.
Angelina underwent many surgeries, tests, and procedures during her stay, but the family felt safe in the hands of the doctors and caregivers at BC Children’s Hospital. The Kereliuks family members say they’re grateful for the care that their daughter and entire family receive. “We know that without a facility like Children’s, Angelina’s outcome may have been very different and we will always be eternally grateful to Children’s for being with us on this scary journey,” her mother says.
Hear more from the Kereliuks family June 4 at 9:30pm when they share their story during Miracle Weekend. Make sure you also tune in to hear from two other Chilliwack families, the Stewarts and Martzs, Saturday at 7:30pm!
Rowan Loran from Victoria
Rowan, who has a naturally playful personality, would develop bruises when he would play with his toys. This wasn’t too alarming to his parents, however, because his mother, Kristin, has a family history of low blood platelets. After a case of norovirus raised red flags, the family was told that little Rowan had a condition called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare genetic immunodeficiency disorder.
After this diagnosis at his local hospital in Victoria, the family was sent to BC Children’s Hospital where Rowan underwent a bone marrow transplant, which kept him as an inpatient for two months. He was treated as an outpatient for another two months. During this time, the Lorans stayed in Vancouver.
“I was alone with Rowan the majority of the time, and that was so hard,” Kristin recalls. “Chris was only able to stay with us for four weeks, through the worst part right at the beginning.”
Rowan is on the road to recovery today and lives his life as a normal spunky and talkative little guy.
Hear more from Rowan and his family June 5 at 3:15pm. The Potyrala family, also from Vancouver Island, will be featured during Miracle Weekend at Sunday at 11:00 am and hear about Piper from Sidney, Sunday at 1:20pm.
Show your support for these and other families from every corner of BC by calling to donate during Miracle Weekend on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 – 310-2224 from anywhere in BC, or donate now to the telethon total through our secure online form.