Rhys Sarkany was diagnosed with cancer in September 2019. Photo Submitted

Fundraiser launched for Elkford boy with leukemia

Rhys was diagnosed on September 16, 2019 with B-Cell Leukemia at the Vancouver Children’s Hospital.

Rhys’s parents became concerned about his wellbeing in mid August of 2019 and after multiple trips to the doctor to have his condition investigated, his condition worsened and they took him into the local hospital in Sparwood.

There they were referred on to Dr. Penar in Cranbrook who made the initial diagnosis on September 14 and the decision to fly Rhys and his family to Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Two days later, parents Kelly Spec and Dan Sarkany, received the heartbreaking news that they would not be leaving Vancouver for eight months due to the long treatment schedule Rhys was about to begin.

Rhys is a fun loving, sweet four-year-old boy who has started his long journey with intense chemotherapy sessions, steroids and multiple spinal taps in which he is put under sedation in order to administer medication directly into his spinal fluid. Rhys undergoes one or more of these treatments every four to 10 days depending on his treatment schedule.

Rhys and his family are required to be close to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver until Rhys is able to successfully complete the intense phase of treatment. They are relying heavily on the help of local friends and family while they are away from Elkford.

Kelly has had to quit work and close her business to be there in support of Rhys and his multiple hospital visits in the hopes that they can come home at the end of eight months.

Teck Coal has supported this family in every way allowing Dan to continue his work at Teck’s main office in Vancouver so that he can be there to support his family. But their journey doesn’t end there, the leukemia treatment that Rhys has to endure will take a full three years for him to be completely in remission.

After they come home to Elkford, that will mean monthly and sometimes weekly trips to Calgary Children’s Hospital.

To help support Rhys and his family during this hard emotional and financial time, friends and family have decided to fundraise with monetary donations, a silent auction (which will go live on March 1 to be wrapped up on April 15), and any other form of support they can give.

We ask the public to help support Rhys’ family in raising funds for the ongoing medical and living expenses they are incurring by sending donations to Kelly and Dan and little Rhys.

Donations can be made by e-transfer to kelly.spec@spectrumnutrition.ca or via mail to P.O. Box 1463, Elkford, B.C. V0B 1H0

We thank everyone for your outpouring of love and support through these challenging times. Kelly, Dan and Rhys look forward to the time when they can again be home.

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Rhys Sarkany, a four year old boy from Elkford, will be undergoing cancer treatments in Vancouver. Photo Submitted

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