Toy sale supports young cancer fighter

Donations welcome for fundraising toy sale Saturday, Nov. 26

Erin Abbott-Haines and Andrew Esser-Haines share a laugh with sons Mikhailo and Roane. Roane

Young Roane Abbott-Haines loves playing with trucks and diggers.

But toys of all manner will be on offer – in Roane’s name – at this weekend’s toy sale at Oak Bay’s Gonzales Preschool.

In August, Roane, who turns five next week, was diagnosed with ALL – acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

While this particular childhood cancer is not supposed to be hereditary, it was a diagnosis all-too familiar to Roane’s mom, Erin Abbott-Haines, a survivor who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 13.

While she lives with the long-term effects of the treatment, Erin says she was one of the first generation of survivors who benefited from changes in chemotherapy protocols. In 1960, the cure rate was about 25 per cent; by Erin’s diagnosis it rose to 75 per cent. Today, as son Roane receives treatment, the rate is about 95 per cent.

Despite her familiarity with the disease, the news came as a shock. Erin and dad Andrew Esser-Haines noticed Roane was not his usual busy self for about a week, and his doctor recommended a blood test.

“Within a couple of hours we got a phone call and we were on our way to Vancouver the next morning,” Erin says, recalling the mental fog that accompanies such a call. “It was like living in a movie that whole day.”

Today, despite the rigors of treatment, Roane’s cheerful personality remains. “He’s doing really well. He’s got everybody laughing,” Erin says from the hospital, where Roane plays with Lego nearby, waiting for his next treatment.

“We do a lot of Lego these days.”

One of the ongoing symptoms of Roane’s treatments is muscle fatigue and balance issues. Familiar with his mom’s need for occasional mobility aids, he’d asked about one for himself – no nearly five-year-old wants to ride in a stroller to the park, after all.

For his birthday, his parents hope to indulge Roane’s love for trucks and his need for mobility assistance with a motorized tractor, possible only with the help they’ve received from friends, loved ones and the Gonzales Preschool community, Erin says.

“Our preschool community has been outstanding; it’s been overwhelming,” she says, noting the go-fund-me page launched and many meals delivered to help the young family.

When news of Roane’s diagnosis and treatment reached his young friends – members of the “4s class of 2016” – the children put their heads together as to how they could help, says Kirsten Duncan, one of the organizers. “The children were trying to think of ways to help and they came up with a toy sale,” she says.

Community donations to the sale are both welcome and appreciated, and organizers encourage the community to come out and get an early start on their Christmas shopping – all in the name of a cheerful young boy and a good friend.

“He’s a total character,” Duncan says of Roane. “He’s fun and energetic when he’s well, and he loves trucks and diggers and being outside. He’s a very giving and kind little boy.”

Take in the toy sale from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Nov. 26 at Gonzales Preschool, 2928 Eastdowne Rd., at St. Philip Anglican Church. Anyone with toys to donate can email fundraisingforroane@outlook.com for pick-up.

 

 

Just Posted

Study moves Oak Bay closer to contraceptive control for problem deer

The report says between 78 and 128 black tail deer live in the affluent beach-side community

Two missing Victoria children found safe

VicPD responded to two separate missing children calls Tuesday

Chim Chim Cher‑ee! Mary Poppins is coming to Oak Bay High

Mary Poppins opens Friday, Feb. 22, at the Dave Dunnet theatre

Report estimates 100 deer call Oak Bay home

The population could be between 72 and 128 deer

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Most Read