Sifu Moonfist and his wife Maggie are thankful for the outpouring of community support as Moonfist suffered medical challenges. (Tim Collins - Black Press Media)

Sifu Moonfist and his wife Maggie are thankful for the outpouring of community support as Moonfist suffered medical challenges. (Tim Collins - Black Press Media)

For the love of community

Sooke comes together for those facing health challenges

Over the last several months, two special and very different residents of Sooke captured the hearts of the community, as both faced life-threatening medical challenges.

Now it seems each story is headed for a happy ending.

Lily Lecinana, 10, who in the past donated her hair to help cancer patients, was diagnosed last year with stage-four Burkitt lymphoma, a fast growing and rare form of cancer.

Her diagnosis rocked the community as is came on the heels of the tragic passing of another Sooke child – Hannah Day –who succumbed to cancer only a short time before.

It wasn’t long before the community rallied to support Lily. “For the love of Lily” T-shirts, fundraising events, a GoFundMe page and many prayers and messages of encouragement followed and soon everyone knew Lily’s name.

RELATED: Benefit concert for Lily

The other Sooke resident was as different from Lily as could be.

Sifu Moonfist, 59, a man who the community knew as a Buddhist Kung Fu master and an avid advocate for cleaning up Sooke’s streets, had begun to experience increasingly frequent and serious epileptic seizures that stemmed from malformed brain tissues.

Moonfist was dubbed a “superhero” by Sooke Mayor Maja Tait and his kindness and dedication to the community is legendary.

He also experienced the caring nature of the community as a GoFundMe page was established and donations came flooding in.

So while Moonfist was admitted to Lions Gate Hospital for radical brain surgery, Lily was at B.C. Children’s’ Hospital undergoing aggressive rounds of chemotherapy.

Both are now on the road to recovery and expressing their thanks to Sooke.

RELATED: Moonfist’s plight garners support

“I had no idea that a GoFundMe page was established for Lily. It was started by my neighbour, and I only learned about it afterward,” Lily’s mother, Meredith said.

“But you have no idea the difference that money made. We were in Vancouver for eight months, during which time I couldn’t work. The financial strain was something you don’t think about too much as I was busy thinking about Lily, but it’s always there. Having the community support made it a little bit easier.”

Moonfist and his wife Maggie had a similar experience.

“We’d been to Vancouver for two weeks last time he had to go for treatment and the hotel bill was more than $3,200. Then there were meals and paying for cabs or parking … it was all very expensive,” Maggie said.

“When we learned that we had to go back, the cost of the whole thing was going to make it very difficult. I can’t tell you what a difference it made to not have to worry about it when the GoFundMe money was there.”

Moonfist is home now and though he is still working through some pain issues, his seizures have disappeared. His speech and memory have improved and he’s hopeful that he will make a full recovery.

As for Lily, she’s smiling again. Home from the hospital, she’s returned to school.

“People have been so great. So supportive. When we came home there were “Love for Lily” signs all over and it made her smile. I just can’t begin to say how important all that support was,” Meredith said.

“The support we got, the love that we’ve been shown … that’s just what Sooke is all about.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fundraiserSooke

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

Just Posted

(Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Second driver facing impaired charges after View Royal traffic stop leads to loaded firearms

West Shore RCMP stop swerving motorist and Saanich woman who came to pick her up

Classes are cancelled at Royal Bay Secondary School and other schools Nov. 30 due to power outages. (Black Press Media file photo)
Classes cancelled across the West Shore, Sooke due to power outages

Students can be picked up but facilities remain open

Sig
Highway 14 down to one-lane near Jordan River

Traffic on Highway 14, six kilometres east of Jordan River, is reduced… Continue reading

Victoria police issued tickets to two Victoria party hosts Saturday night, according to VicPD Chief Del Manak. (Unsplash)
Victoria partiers hid in closets, bedrooms in an attempt to avoid fines

Police gave out COVID-19 tickets to two separate parties

Parking fees at Thetis Lake Park will be going up at some point, but not without further discussion. Capital Regional District directors asked CRD staff to come back with alternatives, after hearing a proposal that would increase the $2.25 per day rate to $7 for 2021. (Google Maps)
Greater Victoria politicians ditch plan for $7 daily parking at Thetis Lake

Capital Regional District directors fear backlash from parks users

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Fatty Legs co-author responds to Abbotsford class assignment on residential schools

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Remains of the scene off Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek where three bodies were found on Nov. 1, 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Probe continues into grisly mid-Island discovery of 3 human bodies, 4 dead dogs

Police still want to speak with motorist who picked up hitchhikers near scene on Nov. 1

Most Read