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

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read