Elizabeth Tichelman with her aunt

Elizabeth Tichelman with her aunt

Family inspires fundraising effort

When Elizabeth Tichelman first started fundraising for breast cancer research and support, she did so with one person in mind – her grandma.

Therese Tichelman had already been battling the disease for 15 years when Elizabeth requested guests to her ninth birthday make a donation to the cause instead of purchasing a present.

“I knew I wanted to do that for my grandma. I didn’t care about my gifts, I just really wanted to help my grandma,” Elizabeth, now 13, said. “My mom and dad carefully explained to me I might not be able to save my nana, but I could help create a future without breast cancer.”

The party generated more than $1,000, which Tichelman personally presented to the Vancouver cancer clinic that treated her grandmother.

Sadly, Therese Tichelman died two years later.

Elizabeth found inspiration to act once again when her aunt, Leslieann Tichelman, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

For Elizabeth’s 13th birthday, she made the same request from party guests – donations instead of gifts – and brought in $1,900, which she donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in honour of her aunt.

Elizabeth said Leslieann was brought to tears when she learned what her niece had done.

“She was so incredibly happy.”

While both efforts fundraised a considerable amount for the foundation, Elizabeth was to hand over her largest contribution yet this week.

After teaming up with White Rock boutique owner Raz Vasanji to host a fashion show benefit last month, Elizabeth ended up with $3,000 to donate.

The May 26 event was held at Boutique Vasanji – where Elizabeth browses every week after her nearby trumpet lesson – and drew more than 100 people.

Elizabeth spoke at the fundraiser, and recruited friends and school acquaintances to serve as models for the fashion show. She said her brother, 11-year-old Richard Tichelman, sang Daughters by John Mayer for the crowd, and reduced many to tears.

Elizabeth’s mother said local businesses happily provided items for raffle prizes, Vasanji donated 20 per cent of weekend sales and attendants were quick to dip into their pockets for the cause.

“People are overwhelmed by a young person taking the initiative that they want to give more,” Tracy Tichelman said, noting most people had been touched by the disease. “Everyone in that room was somehow connected by someone who has been affected by cancer.”

Tracy noted that her daughter’s benevolence doesn’t end with cancer fundraising – she also volunteers at a seniors home, where she visits with residents.

“Elizabeth likes to help people,” she said.

And the community is likely to hear more from the Grade 8 Elgin Park Secondary student.

“I definitely know for a fact that I will fundraise again for breast cancer,” Elizabeth said. “After you feel you’ve done something good, you feel so good about yourself.

“I’ve made someone else’s life better.”

 

Just Posted

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
Drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250-hectare wildfire in B.C.

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read