Only three days into a two-week fundraiser, the students of Happy Valley elementary school raised more than $900 for Jeneece Place.
“Any school that fundraises for Jeneece Place is phenomenal,” said Jeneece Edroff, 17.
Jeneece Place is being built on the grounds of Victoria General Hospital with eight rooms to accommodate families who need to travel to Victoria for their child’s treatment at the hospital.
“It means so much to have a place to say when you are in hospital,” Edroff said. “Being close to the hospital is better than being 10 minutes away.”
In order to build Jeneece Place, Edroff needs to raise $5.5 million; she already has $4 million banked.
“Jeneece is one girl who has done so much,” said Linda Magiera, Happy Valley principal.
To entice students to donate to Jeneece Place, Magiera started creating a paper garden on the window in the library.
Anyone who donated $5 would get a flower in the garden with their name on it and $10 would earn a butterfly in the garden. The school has also been collecting spare change as well.
Edroff came to the school three days into the fundraiser to tell the staff and students about her challenges and how she has risen above them.
At age three she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a condition where tumors grow on nerve pathways.
Edroff wore a back brace from the age of three until she was 10. Over her life she has had numerous surgeries.
Due to her condition, Edroff said he couldn’t participate in games or sports, so she dove into fundraising.
She started fundraising for Variety, the children’s charity of B.C., when she was seven and by the age of 14 she had raised $1.5 million.
“Variety had helped me so much, I wanted to give back,” Edroff said.
Happy Valley elementary school will wind up its fundraiser on Friday, April 8.