Two years after he underwent surgery, eight-year Caleb McLean’s cancer has returned, and the his family is trying to raise funds for the vacation cruise he asked for. Supplied

VIDEO: Campaign to provide a last, dream vacation for terminally ill B.C. boy

Eight-year-old asked for a cruise on the ‘Disney Boat’

An online campaign to send a terminally ill eight-year-old B.C. boy on a Disney cruise with his family is gaining momentum.

His family has been told it will likely be the last vacation for Caleb McLean of Langley, whose cancer has returned, two years after he was first operated on.

Father Travis McLean said attempts to remove one of two resurgent tumors have only been partially successful, and doctors have told them Caleb only has months to live.

“I don’t believe them,” McLean said, struggling to keep his composure.

“I think my son is a fighter. He’s going to defeat the odds.”

When a visitor from Make-A-Wish BC and Yukon, a charity that grants wishes to seriously ill kids, asked Caleb what he would like, he said he wanted to go on the “Disney boat” with his mother, father and all five siblings.

That was more than the foundation could cover, and the family was told the trip would only be possible with Caleb, both his parents, and just one of his five siblings.

“It’s unfortunate,” Travis said.

“I have nothing against Make-A-Wish. I can kind of see where they’re coming from. You don’t realize how many kids have cancer [and would qualify to have their wish granted by the foundation] until you’ve been to an oncology ward.”

Caleb’s aunt Danielle Glynn responded by setting up an online gofundme campaign called “Caleb’s Last Vacation” to raise the estimated $45,000 it would cost to sent Caleb, his parents and all five siblings on his dream vacation.

“He’s a big heart in a little body,” a tearful Glynn said of her nephew. “He lights up the room with his smile.”

In the first three days, more than 190 people have donated about $23,000 to the campaign and the pace of contributions has picked up as word spreads, Glynn said.

Like her brother, Glynn said she understands the foundation has to stay within a budget, and she has nothing bad to say about it.

But asking a family to choose which of five children will accompany their brother on his last vacation “just sucks,” Glynn said.

“How do you pick which sibling?”

A spokesperson for Make-A-Wish BC and Yukon, Stuart Chase, said they are discussing an “alternate” arrangement with the family that would be within the foundation’s budget.

“That’s the reality we work with every day.” said Chase, the marketing and communications director for the charity.

“We are totally donation-based, not government funded.”

Chase had nothing but positive things to say about the family GoFundMe initiative for Caleb.

“It’s really awesome that they’re going to bat for him,” Chase said.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

roxanne.hooper@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

When the Children’s Make-A-Wish Foundation said it was unable to send all five siblings on a last vacation with Caleb McLean, Danielle Glynn launched an online campaign on behalf of her nephew. Her brother is Caleb’s father, Travis, who sad he remains optimistic, even though doctors have said the eight-year-old may only have months left. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

An image from a home movie of Caleb McLean singing the song “never enough” fron the movie, “The Greatest Showman.”

Just Posted

Cranbrook names 2019-20 Youth Ambassadors

Sheila Martine (Princess) and Faith McWhirter (Sweetheart) chosen at Friday night pageant

College, Ktunaxa sign new agreement building on long-standing partnership

An agreement between the College of the Rockies and the Ktunaxa Nation… Continue reading

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1912

June 9-15: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Government must at least try to act on forestry issues, MLA Clovechok says

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok says the situation with the forest… Continue reading

Wasa Triathlon has successful weekend

Hundreds of athletes converged in Wasa Park to take part in the annual event

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Most Read