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.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock Rotary Club president Mauricio Browne de Paula (front right) with other club and community volunteers at the launch of the free hot lunch program at the city parking lot at Russell Avenue and Johnston Road on May 21. (File photo)
Daily demand for White Rock Rotary, city lunch program surpasses 40

Recipients ‘are very good people… going through some tough times’

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

Students at Creekside Elementary in Surrey wrote letters to seniors over the holidays, and are planning to write more for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)
Surrey elementary students connect with seniors through letter writing

Creekside students planning to send more cards for Valentine’s Day

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Police called to Surrey home for report of weapon, man taken into custody

Surrey RCMP say people evacuated from house, one found in a bedroom ‘hiding from police’

Judy and Ken Reid share a smile at Peace Arch Hospital in 2018. Judy raised concerns last month about how the COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out. Now, she says no one is telling residents or families when they will start to see restrictions ease. (Contributed photo)
Timeline for reduced restrictions in long-term care a concern for spouse of South Surrey senior

‘We’re not yet at that point,’ says provincial health officer

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

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 video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read