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.

 

 

Just Posted

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read