Two years after he underwent surgery, eight-year Caleb McLean’s cancer has returned, and the his family is trying to raise funds for the vacation cruise he asked for. Supplied

VIDEO: Campaign to provide a last, dream vacation for terminally ill B.C. boy

Eight-year-old asked for a cruise on the ‘Disney Boat’

An online campaign to send a terminally ill eight-year-old B.C. boy on a Disney cruise with his family is gaining momentum.

His family has been told it will likely be the last vacation for Caleb McLean of Langley, whose cancer has returned, two years after he was first operated on.

Father Travis McLean said attempts to remove one of two resurgent tumors have only been partially successful, and doctors have told them Caleb only has months to live.

“I don’t believe them,” McLean said, struggling to keep his composure.

“I think my son is a fighter. He’s going to defeat the odds.”

When a visitor from Make-A-Wish BC and Yukon, a charity that grants wishes to seriously ill kids, asked Caleb what he would like, he said he wanted to go on the “Disney boat” with his mother, father and all five siblings.

That was more than the foundation could cover, and the family was told the trip would only be possible with Caleb, both his parents, and just one of his five siblings.

“It’s unfortunate,” Travis said.

“I have nothing against Make-A-Wish. I can kind of see where they’re coming from. You don’t realize how many kids have cancer [and would qualify to have their wish granted by the foundation] until you’ve been to an oncology ward.”

Caleb’s aunt Danielle Glynn responded by setting up an online gofundme campaign called “Caleb’s Last Vacation” to raise the estimated $45,000 it would cost to sent Caleb, his parents and all five siblings on his dream vacation.

“He’s a big heart in a little body,” a tearful Glynn said of her nephew. “He lights up the room with his smile.”

In the first three days, more than 190 people have donated about $23,000 to the campaign and the pace of contributions has picked up as word spreads, Glynn said.

Like her brother, Glynn said she understands the foundation has to stay within a budget, and she has nothing bad to say about it.

But asking a family to choose which of five children will accompany their brother on his last vacation “just sucks,” Glynn said.

“How do you pick which sibling?”

A spokesperson for Make-A-Wish BC and Yukon, Stuart Chase, said they are discussing an “alternate” arrangement with the family that would be within the foundation’s budget.

“That’s the reality we work with every day.” said Chase, the marketing and communications director for the charity.

“We are totally donation-based, not government funded.”

Chase had nothing but positive things to say about the family GoFundMe initiative for Caleb.

“It’s really awesome that they’re going to bat for him,” Chase said.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

roxanne.hooper@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

When the Children’s Make-A-Wish Foundation said it was unable to send all five siblings on a last vacation with Caleb McLean, Danielle Glynn launched an online campaign on behalf of her nephew. Her brother is Caleb’s father, Travis, who sad he remains optimistic, even though doctors have said the eight-year-old may only have months left. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

An image from a home movie of Caleb McLean singing the song “never enough” fron the movie, “The Greatest Showman.”

Just Posted

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Juno-Award winning musician Bill Bourne to perform in Keremeos

Concert at the Grist Mill and Gardens starts at 7 p.m. on July 19

10th year for Great Naramata Cherry Pit Contest

The event is a fun-filled way to celebrate the local harvest

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Most Read