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

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.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered Langford teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

The speculation and vacancy tax raised about $1.21 million in Sidney and North Saanich combined. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich and Sidney property owners paid $1.21 million in speculation and vacancy tax

Speculation and vacancy tax raised 6.5 million in Greater Victoria

Saanich parks staff will be applying a herbicide called Garlon XRT in Sayward Hill Park between Jan. 18 to 29 to control the invasive species English holly and hawthorn. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Herbicide used to target ‘priority’ invasive species in Saanich park

Treatment applied to English holly, hawthorn stumps, in Sayward Hill Park

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read