Sick Vernon teen to be granted wish

Spencer Sawatzky and National Bank are raising funds to make wishes come true

One boy from Vernon will have his wish come true—once he figures out what that wish is.

Fourteen-year-old Spencer Sawatzky cried in disbelief when he learned the Children’s Wish Foundation would grant his wish, communications specialist Jillian Slattery said.

“Being a kid with a chronic and life-threatening illness has not been easy for him or his parents,” Slattery said in a release.

Sawatzky is just like any other 14-year-old boy. He likes to hang out with his brothers, his dogs and his parents. He loves to play golf, the guitar and play with Lego. But in January 2016, Sawatzky was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

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A year later, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-term inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Complications can include severe bleeding, dehydration and increased risk of colon cancer.

Sawatzky has undergone seven surgeries in nearly four years and he had a full colectomy at the age of 10 leaving him with an ostomy bag for 18 months. This can be incredibly difficult, mentally and physically, at any age.

On top of frequent checkups and daily medication, Sawatzky must travel from Vernon to Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital every month for treatment. This means one of his parents needs to take a day off work and Sawatzky misses another day of school.

“He has not yet decided on what his wish will be, but he is helping to fundraise for his wish through our Timber Mart Heroes Challenge event in September, in Vancouver,” Slattery said.

Although Sawatzky won’t be appearing at the event this fall, he has teamed up with National Bank through the Timber Mart Heroes Challenge to raise $10,000.

“His willingness to be an ambassador for us and give back is very admirable,” Slattery said.

Individuals can donate to Sawatzky online to help him have his wish granted.

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Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

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