(Contributed)

Anchored to the community: Vernon Yacht Club launches campaign for 5-year-old boy battling leukemia

The boats show is free to the public, so organizers are hosting a raffle to raise money for the costs associated with getting treatment.

One of the oldest boat shows in British Columbia turns 30 this weekend and organizers at the Vernon Yacht Club are using their platform to help ease the financial stress of a young family who recently found out some devastating news.

Almost 450 km away from their home in Vernon, 9-year-old, Henry Debowski, and his mother Bristol are at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

A couple of week ago, Henry started feeling ill. It began with a loss of appetite, and then Henry became too tired to go outside and play with friends. His mother knew it was time to see a doctor when, a few days after losing his appetite, Henry lost all colour in his skin. Soon, Henry was diagnosed with Leukemia.

Because the cancer has not spread to his nervous system and because of his young age, Henry has a higher survival rate. With his mother by his side, he will spend the next seven months being treated with chemotherapy.

The often overlooked factor is the financial cost as Bristol, a single mother, will not be able to continue working while her son is in the hospital.

Hearing the news, many throughout the community have started to rally around the family: A GoFundMe campaign has been launched and fundraising events are being organized.

Knowing that hundreds of people will be visiting the yacht club this weekend for the 30th annual Boat and Watersports Show, organizers said they knew they had a unique opportunity to help Henry and his mother.

“The Debowski family has been a large part of the Vernon community for a few generations,” said VYC past commodore, Lawrence Johnson. “The yacht club wants to try and help in the community and once we heard about this we knew we had to step up.”

The boats show is free to the public, so organizers have decided the best way to raise money for the family at the event is to set up a table and sell raffle tickets. Organizers will also be advertising a follow-up event for the family to be held at the Elks Hall in Vernon on May 18, 2019 dubbed: “Henry vs Leukemia.”

“I am glad that we have a strong community at the yacht club to do what we can to help,” said Johnson.

Tickets for that event can be purchased at the Vernon Yacht Club and will feature several bands including The Goods, Becca T, The Bag Daddies and L.A. Johnson and friends.

As for Henry and his mom, they are determined to beat cancer.

Henry even shared this message on the Gofundme page: “Any amount you could give us would be really appreciated and help relieve some of my Mom’s worries. I know she wants to be able to take me to do fun things on my “good” days and buy me Lego on days I’m sick of being in the hospital. Thank you for reading my story (feel free to share with others) and helping my family and me any way you can.”

To read Henry’s full message or to donate to his Go Fund Me page, visit gofundme.com/henry-vs-leukemia.

The Boat and Watersports Show runs this weekend (May 4 – 5) at the Vernon Yacht Club. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and a shuttle service will be running every ten minutes from Marshall Field.

Related: Army of support behind Morning Star saleswoman battling cancer

Related: Vernon fundraisers help local family battling throat cancer

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on Facebook.

Just Posted

New homes in Penticton for women and children leaving violence

The B.C. municipal affairs minister scheduled to be in Penticton Friday for new homes announcement

Summerland students to raise voices in public speech competition

Public speaking component is included in high school English program

Spirits of missing and murdered felt along the Highway of Tears

A Penticton man is feeling the spirits of the missing and murdered women along the Highway of Tears

Eastside Road re-opened following repairs

Section of Eastside Road closed by the Ministry of Transportation is open after repairs.

Summerlanders urged to travel by bike

Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Week run May 27 to June 2

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Okanagan housing builds hope for 52 homeless individuals

The 52 unit supported housing apartment officially opens in Vernon

Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

Turning Points, in collaberation with Briteland, bring square foot gardening to Blair Apartments

Bear spray culprit released from Penticton RCMP custody

The individual who sprayed the bear spray at Compass House on May 22 has been released

Okanagan hockey icon heads to B.C. hall

Vernon’s Ken Holland, GM of the Edmonton Oilers, inducted into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Thursday

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

RCMP set to patrol Okanagan lakes

Vernon-North Okanagan members will be on area waters helping keep boaters safe

Popular Peachland park reopens

Hardy Falls Regional Park has been closed from flood damage since 2017

Most Read