A trust fund has been set up, a bake sale is in the works, and the Ghostriders are on board. The community of Fernie is coming together to help Brooke Malakoff, and her family, as she continues her battle with cancer.
Brooke was originally diagnosed with a benign tumour on her lung just before Christmas last year. She was told she would need surgery and that it could be taken care of after the holidays. Shortly after the original diagnosis, Brooke’s condition worsened, and after heading back to the hospital the doctors determined that the tumour had grown.
The tumour was re-diagnosed as malignant and Brooke was immediately flown to Vancouver to undergo emergency surgery. Brooke’s stepfather said the doctors believed without the surgery, she would only have one week to live.
Brooke lost her left lung during surgery, however the operation was successful. She was able to return home to Fernie to finish her last year of high school and go back to her job at Overwaitea. Just a few short months later, Brooke and her family learned that her cancer had returned.
Today, Brooke is undergoing treatment in Vancouver, where she and her mother have been on and off since May. Brooke’s stepfather and brother remain in Fernie.
While the family is doing their best to help Brooke keep fighting, the people of Fernie are stepping up to help in any way they can. Cathy Maurier-Prince has opened a CIBC trust fund in Brooke’s name, giving anyone the ability to make a deposit of any amount.
“She just wanted to open this up so people can help out,” said George Torresani, Brooke’s father. “We’ve been at this since basically December 19, and the expenses are getting tight now, because we’re down to one income in the house. We’ve exhausted all our avenues to try and get by.”
The Fernie Ghostriders will wear pink jerseys during October, which will be auctioned off at the end of the month, with half of the proceeds going towards Brooke. Ghostriders President, Phil Iddon, said the team is happy to be able to give back to a family that is so involved with the Ghostriders, and the community. “[Brooke] volunteers, her brother plays music at the games, and her dad does security,” he said. “The whole family is very, very close, they all do things together. The last couple of years she’s really helped out with games, creating happy, smiling faces. She’s just a nice, young lady that obviously deserves better.”
Iddon added, “I can’t say enough how unfortunate and how unfair some things are. It’s just a pleasure to be able to do something with the community and help out.”
Coming up in November, Dawna McDowell is organising a baking table at a community craft fair. She’s opening up the table to allow members of the community to contribute baked goods to raise money that will be split between Brooke’s trust fund, and another local family.
With no financial goal set, the hope is for the community to continue to fundraise as much as they can for Brooke and her family. Anyone who would like to make a contribution to Brooke’s trust fund can visit their local CIBC branch to make a deposit, or email transfer a donation to email@example.com.