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Community rallies behind child

Three-year-old Eli Johannson of Vernon is currently fighting an aggressive form of childhood neuroblastoma in B.C. Children’s Hospital. - Photo submitted
Three-year-old Eli Johannson of Vernon is currently fighting an aggressive form of childhood neuroblastoma in B.C. Children’s Hospital.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Vernon’s Eli Johannson was like any other three-year-old boy, going to preschool, running around the playground, and loving airplanes, until he was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma cancer.

“He has an 11-centimetre tumor in his abdomen, and the cancer has spread to bones and bone marrow,” says his mom Faith on a fundraising website (http://www.gofundme.com/5e33to).

“He is currently undergoing treatment at Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital, where our family will be required to stay for upwards of one year. Treatment includes chemo, tumor removal surgery and bone marrow transplant using his own bone marrow. He also requires blood transfusions regularly.”

To help the family during this difficult time, the community has stepped up and to date has raised more than $18,000 towards the goal of $25,000.

“This is an incredibly stressful time for this young family, with a new baby, and it’s even more critical for both parents to be there,” said relative Linsey Johannson.

“We are raising money in an effort to help them stay in Vancouver together as a family for the course of the treatment.”

Excel Fitness is also hosting a silent auction in support of Eli Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Along with the auction, there will be by donation events: kids bully prevention by Pacific Top Team BJJ at 6 p.m., zumba with Sareena at 6:30 p.m., introduction to taekwon-do by Jungshin Taekwon-do at 7 p.m. and Dance like Brittany Spears with Sarah at 7 p.m.

Another fundraiser takes place Dec. 19 — A Night In Gold for Eli. The event includes dinner, entertainment, a surprise celebrity guest, live and silent auctions at the Best Western Vernon Lodge from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are $75 and available at Coldstream Video, City Furniture, Squires Four Pub and MTS (4500 29th St.).

Additionally, donations can be made at BMO, which is accepting cheques in the name of Eli or Elijah Johannson.

There is also the option of e-transfers using the e-mail address healelij@gmail.com or direct deposit at the branch: transit 07700 account 3970-670

Eli is also participating in a worldwide study with 90 other children, with the hope of coming up with a new protocol for childhood neuroblastoma in Canada.

The Vernon family (which includes dad Iain, mom Faith and Eli’s baby brother Soloman, who was just four weeks old when this started) is very grateful for the community’s support.

 

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