Seven-year-old Lochlyn McDonald and her mother

Making dreams come true with community support on the West Shore

BMO West Shore donates $2,500 to help fund Disney cruise for local family

A seven-year-old West Shore girl will soon see her dreams come true.

After years of back and forth to the B.C. Children’s Hospital, Lochlyn McDonald will be visiting Mickey and Minnie Mouse on a cruise ship instead of doctors at a hospital when the Langford resident makes her way onto a Disney Cruise courtesy of the Help Fill a Dream Foundation.

“It took her a long road to get to seven years old being in and out of the hospital for the majority of her first four to five years with a multitude of surgeries,” said mother Carmen McDonald. “When Lochlyn was first born they told us she would never see one, so for her to be seven years old and be healthy enough to see her dream fulfilled will be pretty spectacular.”

Lochlyn lives with Costello syndrome, a rare disorder that can affect development and is characterized by unusually flexible joints, loose folds of skin, heart abnormalities and increased risk of cancerous tumours. She was selected by the HFDF, which raised money at a dart tournament Nov. 8 with more funds donated through Bank of Montreal employees. A $1,500 cheque awarded to Jaime Adams of BMO for her volunteerism in the community and a $1,000 BMO performance incentive earned by the members of the branch were donated into the non-profit to buoy the total to $2,500.

“It’s a feeling of warmth in your heart, and when you look at kids like Lochlyn and you see the smile, that is the pinnacle. That is why we do it all,” said HFDF executive director Craig Smith. “We provide an escape to focus on things aside from the not so nice things going on in their lives.”

The cruise sets sail through the Panama Canal in May of 2015 where the entire family of four hit the high seas and BMO West Shore branch manager Shaun Wysiecki said the funds are going to the right place.

“It is absolutely incredible to see we are impacting a local family. Banking is what we do for a living, but we are people first and bankers second,” he said. “Human moments like that are really neat for the individuals that work for us… To see how the company they work for cares about the community and we can see the families we impact.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com