Linden Lane Farms’ manager Matt Carr was playing hockey in Fernie during his Grade 12 year when he befriended Slocan Valley native Brooke Malakoff. Shortly after she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer normally found in children.
“She went down to Vancouver for Christmas in 2011 and she ended up collapsing. She had to have one of her lungs removed,” Carr told the Star. “She was seventeen when she was diagnosed, and it had only ever been found before in children under the age of 7.”
Malakoff bravely faced the diagnosis, and Carr was inspired to do whatever he could to contribute financially to funding cancer research. He approached Malakoff to ask advice for where his money could be best spent.
“She said ‘donate to the oncology department of BC Children’s Hospital’. She’s seen a lot of children go through that program herself. She’s seen the successes and the failures, and it’s been really important to her.”
On October 10 Carr donated all the proceeds from sales of his pink pumpkins to exactly that cause.
“We sold 57 pumpkins in 4 hours, and we collected other donations. We ended up with $1,300.”
And though he hasn’t yet gotten a chance to speak to Malakoff, he said recently sent her a care package and some pink pumpkins of her own.
“She was really excited, she posted about it on Facebook and her blog. It’s hard with such a dear friend going through this, but I’m very thankful for our community and the support.”
He’s still collection donations.
“We’re also going to be at the Taghum Fall Festival. We’ve got some other cool pumpkins, like these little white ones, to give away.”
That will take place at the Taghum Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 25.