Two Bracebridge children have given up their own birthdays to help someone they had never met.
It was the second year in a row that Journey, aged eight, and 11-year-old Phenix Peleikis were determined to forego their shared birthday in favour of fundraising for a person needing life-changing surgery.
Mom Alison Wilson with her son James enjoyed the special party and fundraiser.
The kids asked for cash donations for their shared birthday last year, giving the money to friend Ethan who needed a very expensive operation not covered by OHIP.
Having received the life-altering treatment in the USA Ethan was able to walk into his friends’ party today being held at Memorial Arena in Bracebridge. Journey and Phenix upped the ante throwing a carnival including games and bouncy castles to get money raised for new friend James from Whitby.
He needs the same kind of surgery, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), a treatment for cerebral palsy.
Dozens of kids and parents attended a pre-carnival birthday party for the siblings before throwing open the doors to the public.
“We’re really happy we were able to help Ethan,” said Phenix. “And now we are trying to help James.”
Mom Katie is very proud of how her kids have wanted to do something for kids their own age.
“When we learned these kids needed a surgery that they couldn’t get here,” she explains. “It is the difference between them being able to walk or not.”
So then the kids decided to use their party (last year),” Katie says. “They raised over $750 for Ethan.”
She spotted a Facebook friend from Durham region posting that her son had been accepted for the life-changing surgery, and just like that the kids got their fundraising hats on to make their birthday a much bigger affair for 2 and a half-year-old James Wilson.
It’s very overwhelming,” says mom Alison. It’s very amazing what the community of Bracebridge has put together here. We’re at a loss for words.”
The total cost of the treatment for James will be over $140,000. The family is aiming to get it done in early 2020.