Childhood cancer hits home, again

Six-year-old Eli Johannson battling cancer for a second time, Zumba fundraiser Monday to help family

Childhood cancer hits home, again

At just six years old, Eli Johannson hasn’t spent nearly enough time getting scraped knees and dirty fingers and toes. He hasn’t built enough Lego castles or raced enough Hot Wheels.

He hasn’t lived the typical life a young boy should – all because of cancer.

Eli is back at BC Children’s Hospital, battling an aggressive Neurblastoma cancer, for a second time.

“Sadly and with a shattered heart, we got some very sad news,” his mom Faith reports. “Eli’s scans detected two masses and a couple other active spots in his body.”

It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Coldstream family, as Eli was first diagnosed with the cancer at age three. But like the champ he is, Eli fought the disease hard and won.

So watching someone so young have to take on the same demons again is heartbreaking.

“I didn’t think we’d be back here,” said Eli’s aunt Linsey Johannson. “It was a huge shock. They (Eli’s parents) are both really strong people and I don’t really know how they do what they do.”

Eli has started his third round of treatment since the family found out April 5 and it won’t be until spring 2018, or later, that he will be able to get back to class at Coldstream Elementary and back to being a kid again.

“It’s tough. The treatment’s long and it’s painful,” said Johannson. “But Faith says no matter what’s thrown at him he always seems to handle it and he always remains him. His little personality doesn’t change.

“I think we can do this again.”

While his parents are taking shifts staying down at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, struggling with this repeat process, and watching their three-year-old, funds are being raised to help them afford the stay and time away from work.

Family friends Sareena Sharma Nickoli and Dallas Kerr have teamed up to put on a Zumba fundraiser Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Vernon Recreation Complex. Special guest Ricardo Marmitte, a Zumba education specialist international presenter, has agreed to come down for the cause.

“He’s like a Zumba superstar,” said Johannson, who will be at Monday’s event.

Tickets are $25 in advance through the Soul Studio App, (under the schedule) or by calling 250-540-3922. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $30.

Those who would like to help but can’t make it to the event can donate online at

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


Childhood cancer hits home, again

Six-year-old Eli Johannson of Coldstream is fighting an aggressive Neuroblastoma cancer, again. (Submitted Photo)

Six-year-old Eli Johannson of Coldstream is fighting an aggressive Neuroblastoma cancer, again. (Submitted Photo)

Just Posted

Oliver Stankiewicz, pictured with his parents David and Laura, will run 100 kilometres Sunday, May 9, in support of the McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre at VJH. (Contributed)
Man on the move for Mother’s Day in Vernon

Virtual run supporting McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre at VJH

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has released its quarterly policing report for the first three months of 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Vernon crime statistics trend upward to start 2021

North Okanagan’s two First Nations see biggest crime rise compared to first quarter 2020

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Two cyclists traverse a closed Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna on June 29, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna recognized as bike-friendly city

City earns bronze in nationwide Bicycle Friendly Communities award program

Most Read