16th Annual ‘Leah’s Wish, Brianna’s Journey’
In-Honour blood donation event coming to Walkerton
On Tuesday, September 17th, the Walkerton blood donor centre will mark the 16th annual In Honour blood donation event for John and Barb Vandenbor and Devin and Patti Lacey.
Vandenbors’ daughter Leah was just 15 years-old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the spring of 2003. The 35 units of blood and blood products Leah received during her treatment gave her family an additional seven precious months with their daughter. Before her illness, Leah had always helped others and even during her final months, she was busy with post-recovery plans to raise awareness of the need for blood donors for children undergoing cancer treatment. Sadly, Leah lost her battle with leukemia and it was then that the Vandenbors created “Leah’s Wish”, by sponsoring a yearly blood donation event in Walkerton, coupled with a silent auction to benefit Childcan.
In 2014, Leah’s Wish expanded to include Brianna’s Journey. Devin and Patti Lacey’s daughter Brianna was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at three years old and needed to use blood products eight times during the course of her treatment. She is now doing very well.
2018 marked the last silent auction, and the Vandenbor’s & Lacey’s wanted to find another way to honour their children’s legacies and help others going through their own battles. This year’s event will be to raise funds for Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce. Pizza Delight has stepped up to be a part of this year’s event & will be selling pizza at the blood donation event, with proceeds being donated to the hospice.
Fittingly, September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. A child with cancer may need five units of blood every week. “Every bit helps”, says Devin. The goal for blood donations at this event is 120 units of blood.
You can make an appointment to give blood at www.blood.ca or by calling 1-888-2DONATE.