The following is written by Ryan Blundell for Vancity Buzz in hopes to increase awareness and raise money for the Team Keian Bottle Drive.
Keian’s holiday wish toy drive first began in 2012, when he expressed that he was lucky to be able to be home for Christmas; other children weren’t that lucky and had to spend their time in the hospital.
His wish was to help those children to feel the love and joy that a holiday season should bring. That first year, with the help of a family friend, he donated 16 toys to Children’s Hospital. He was so incredibly proud – he loaded all of the toys into a wagon and pranced up to his Oncology Ward. He may have been proud of himself, but we, as his parents were bursting at the seams with pride. He was 5; a brilliant soul, full of love and compassion. Last year, his wish became much bigger, with the help of many friends and our incredible community; nearly 300 toys were hand delivered by Keian, to both BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
He talked about helping others throughout his treatment and many experienced this first hand. He handed out cookies to thank staff for taking such good care of him, he thanked Jesus every night for helping him to “get better”, he brought candy canes and stuffed animals to other children staying in the hospital and many gestures of love that I could go on with forever. On one occasion, he told me that once he was “all better”, he would like to set up tables in a front yard; we would make food and lay out clothing that people would come to buy. We would use that money to buy presents, gift cards and also monetary donations. This would all be used so that we could help other families “like ours”.
This year, we hope to make the biggest impact of all – in honour and in memory of our incredible little boy. To live up to the life that he wanted to live and create a world full of his love.
Christmas was Keian’s favourite time of year; he was never all about the presents, but more so the bright lights, the joy of giving and family. We would drive through neighbourhoods on Christmas Eve every year admiring light displays. On Christmas morning, rather than ripping into the gifts under the tree excitedly, he would calmly hand out gifts to our family and would smile absolutely beautifully as he watched us open. Shortly after Keian passed away, we watched a video of our Christmas in 2012 – it was 5 months after his cancer diagnosis.
I honestly don’t think I could count on one hand how many times he expressed his love in the first 5 minutes; both in words and in expression. I will always remember these words; “This is the best Christmas, EVER!!!” This is what Keian wanted everyone to experience; especially children with life threatening illnesses.
This year, we hope to make the biggest impact of all – in honour and in memory of our incredible little boy. To live up to the life that he wanted to live and create a world full of his love. With the help of our community, we hope to ensure that this happens every year. We thank you for being a part of Keian’s wish!
Feature Image: Toys via shutterstock