On until Dec. 15, Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive is an annual campaign organized in memory of Keian Blundell, a six-year-old Langley boy who lost his battle with leukemia in 2014.
The Blundell family, in collaboration with the Surrey RCMP, asks people to donate new unwrapped toys, cash donations, gift cards in support of sick children and their families, in Keian’s memory. He was an honourary member of the RCMP.
Three donation events are held to help the toy drive this year, at Superstore locations in Guildford, Newton and South Surrey on Friday, Dec. 2.
Donations from the toy drive will go to B.C. Children’s Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Keian always found the silver lining in every cloud, said his mother, Chantal Blundell.
“He faced his challenges with bravery and encompassed wisdom beyond his years. He wanted all children with a life-threatening illness to feel love and joy during the holiday season. This is Keian’s Wish,” she added.
People can drop off donations at Surrey RCMP’s main detachment (14355 57 Ave., Surrey), or at one of three district offices in Whalley/City Centre, Guildford and Newton. The Blundell family has also set up an Amazon Wish List for those who wish to give online.
Since 2017, close to 9,000 toys and $32,000 in cash donations have been collected by the Surrey RCMP for the toy drive, according to Insp Harm Dosange, Community Support & Safety Officer.
“We are proud to participate in making Keian’s dream a reality, with the support of the community, our members, staff and volunteers,” Dosange said.
In a Facebook event post, Chantal Blundell says “the holidays are when we try our best to slow down, find peace and togetherness, reflect on our past, and look to the future and light that spark for all we want.
“These past eight years, we have been doing our best to find our joy and new place amidst this world. We hope that you, too, have surrounded yourselves with those that you not only love but also bring out the best of you. You will find how capable you truly are in those who encourage and support you.”
The holidays are when we also reflect a lot about our time spent in the hospital, Blundell adds.
“While we spent many days and months wandering the halls of BC Children’s, Keian’s transplant threw us into a small, isolated room for nearly six weeks without a thought of visitors and having to gown and glove even to hug our son. The thought of families that have had to navigate a new diagnosis, admission, treatment, and isolation weighs heavy on us – especially so at a time of year when what matters most is WHO is around your Christmas tree.
“For the past three years, we have not been able to continue with Keian’s Wish in its entirety. We’ve had to find alternate ways to safely include the public, family, and friends. While we may have had to change how we’ve done things, we’ve adapted and have been incredibly proud and grateful for all involved who made those adaptations right along with us.”
with files from Tanmay Ahluwalia, Black Press Media