Friends are trying to support a Vernon teen and his family during challenging circumstances.
Ryan Wiebe, 14, has been at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for about three months because he is experiencing seizures and is unable to keep anything in his stomach.
“Every week he gets tested for something else and the tests come back negative,” said Myrika Schipfel, a family friend who is organizing a fundraising auction Thursday at the Vernon Yacht Club at 7 p.m.
“I can’t imagine what this is like for the family.”
Despite the uncertainty around the illness, Ryan is a typical Vernon Secondary School student who spends a lot of time with his twin brother Tyler.
“He is super active and pretty much obsessed with dirt biking. Both boys play football and baseball,” said Schipfel.
Dad Darryl, a teacher, has been in Vancouver with Ryan, while mom Kim, a hairstylist, is at home with Tyler.
“She’s driving down to Vancouver all of the time,” said Schipfel.
The constant travelling has created financial pressures for gas, meals and other extraordinary expenses. It’s this situation that led Schipfel to organize the fundraiser.
“The support from the community has been amazing,” said Schipfel.
“I just put something on Facebook about it and within seconds, I had an immediate response.”
The event will include a silent auction featuring hockey gear and photographs signed by professional hockey players, as well as jewelry and gift certificates.
There will also be appetizers and a 2008/09 Stanley Cup ring will be available for viewing.
“Eric will be wearing the ring,” said Schipfel, referring to Eric Godard, her fiance who was part of the National Hockey League champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Godard recently signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Stars.
Tickets for the fundraiser are available for $10 in advance at The Morning Star or $15 at the door.
“It should be a really fun event and I look forward to seeing the community come out and support the family,” said Schipfel.
“This entire family is very strong and now it’s our turn to help them make it easier to cope during this stressful time.”