Charmaine Partington’s heart sank when she heard about a young Langford girl with cancer.
Three-year-old Hannah Day is being treated for Stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma at B.C. Children’s hospital.
Even though Partington has never met Day or her family, the young girl’s story hit close to home.
“I thought what if this happened to my kid?” said Partington, whose daughter Alicia is close in age to Hannah.
“It’s hard to hand over money you don’t have, but since I’ve had Alicia I’ve seen how important community is.”
After thinking about the sick tot, Partington decided she had to do something for the family. Both of Day’s parents have stopped working to be at their daughter’s bedside.
At first Partington headed to the kitchen and baked some cookies with two-and-a-half-year-old Alicia. The next day, Partington sold the cookies at her work and collected $34 for the family.
Still wanting to do more, Partington decided to organize a garage sale for the family. It seemed fitting since she first heard of Day’s struggle through a Facebook page “Victoria moms swap and shop,” a group of parents selling children’s used items.
“I was sure each one of us have a bag of items we can donate,” Partington said, adding she called out for donations on the Facebook page.
Gordon United Church donated the space for the fundraiser and Partington has been collecting children’s items such as clothing, toys, books, bedding and maternity items to sell.
Hearing about a sick toddler is one thing, but when Partington heard about the family’s history she had to spring into action.
Day and her family fell victim to a fire at Day’s Welding and Fabricating on Dunford Avenue, Jan. 2, 2011. Not only did the family lose its business but they lived in a suite in the building. The family lost everything.
Hannah Day was admitted to the B.C. Children’s hospital Aug. 2. She also has a younger sister who is being cared for by other family members.
This is the second known case of rhabdomyosarcoma hitting the West Shore in recent years. Delaney Dunlop, an 18-year-old from Metchosin, was first diagnosed with the rare cancer in July 2009 and died on Thanksgiving Day in 2010.
“It’s incredibly rare,” said Suzanne Germain, Vancouver Island Health Authority spokesperson, noting rhabdomyosarcoma accounts for about three per cent of all childhood cancers.
Donations for the garage sale benefiting the Day family are still being collected and can be arranged through Partington via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The garage sale is Sept. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Gordon United Church, 935 Goldstream Ave.
All items will be sold by donation and all funds will be passed on to Day’s family.
• Lindsay Goulet of Hot Mama Health and Fitness is hosting another fundraiser for Hannah Day.
Butt-kick for Bucks is a family bootcamp fundraiser planned for Sept. 8, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., at Eagle Ridge dry floor arena, 1089 Langford Parkway.
• The Day family also received a generous donation of $10,000 from Re/Max Alliance on Aug. 24.