A campaign is underway to help the family of two Langley brothers who are battling cancer.
Identical three-year-old twins Weston and Bennett Openshaw are both fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Weston was diagnosed with A.L.L. in April, and four months later, tests confirmed his brother Bennett had the exact same type of cancer.
Aunt Rachael Fortier said for the twins, their parents Alisha and Mike, and older brother Jackson, the news has “turned their world upside down.”
Since Weston began his treatments as an outpatient, the family has been commuting from their home in Langley’s Murrayville neighbourhood to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, one to three times a week for multiple rounds of chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, bone marrow biopsies, blood and platelet transfusions.
Alisha has had to stop working.
Now, Bennett is making the same trip with his brother.
“The boys remain their happy goofy little selves, love Mickey Mouse, playing with their older brother and cuddling with their grandma,” Fortier reported.
“Their situation is so unique that not only are all the doctors intrigued by their case, but the hospital has had to set up new protocols to deal with treating identical twins simultaneously,” Fortier elaborated.
“With the unpredictable nature of this illness, there is no clear path for either of the boys,” Fortier went on to say.
“And although everyone remains hopeful, they recognize the boys will be undergoing treatments that may last years.”
A GoFundMe campaign “Weston & Bennett’s Twincredible Leukemia Battle” has been set up by Fortier, and as of Monday, $45,000 of the $60,000 goal had been raised.
Money raised will go directly to the Openshaw family to help with out-of-pocket medical expenses, in-home medical care, cost of gas for their commutes, additional childcare for their oldest son and help with day-to-day activities and tasks.
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“This will allow Alisha and Mike to focus all their energy and time on supporting their twins in their battle and ensuring their oldest son is supported throughout this journey as well,” Fortier said.
“The Openshaws are incredibly thankful for the love and support they received after Weston’s diagnosis, but now they need it again. So let’s show them double the support now after Bennett’s diagnosis and this new challenge to navigate with two sick children.”
Fortier would also like to encourage everyone eligible to donate blood and platelets and register as a stem cell donor “so that you could save a life like Weston and Bennett’s.”
More info about blood donation can be found at www.blood.ca.
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