PHOTOS: Toy drive for kids in hospital more important in year of COVID-19, says Keian’s parents

Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive run Nov. 13 to Dec. 13. Shop the wish list by visiting the website on the poster or scan the QR code on your cellphone app. Gifts can be sent directly to the Blundell family. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive run Nov. 13 to Dec. 13. Shop the wish list by visiting the website on the poster or scan the QR code on your cellphone app. Gifts can be sent directly to the Blundell family. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times.)Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times.)
In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)

When six-year-old Keian was in hospital receiving treatment, the feeling of isolation was all too familiar for the Blundell family, which is why in the year of COVID-19, they say it is all the more important to spread holiday cheer by continuing Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive.

In memory of their son Keian, parents Ryan and Chantal, organize an annual toy drive to benefit BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

READ MORE: Christmas will be different even if Santa is ‘probably’ immune to COVID, says B.C. top doctor

“We’re not unfamiliar with isolation,” said Keian’s dad, Ryan Blundell.

“Keian went through a bone marrow transplant, so for weeks we lived in an isolation bubble where we had to be absolutely cautious of everything we did… because we had a child who had their immune system knocked out… so in the world of COVID… we have that familiarity.”

Keian was diagnosed with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in January 2012 and was admitted to BC Children’s Hospital for treatment.

The young Langley boy was discharged from hospital that year just in time to be at home on Christmas Day to open gifts with his family, instead he return to the hospital with a wagon full of gifts for all the kids who couldn’t return home for the holiday.

Keian was able to return with a wagon full of Christmas cheer in 2013, but passed away in January 2014.

Since then his family has run a holiday toy drive in his honour.

“Things have changed quite drastically this year, we’re not able to have the same outdoor events we do with the RCMP, however they’re still completely supportive of our cause,” said Chantal Blundell, Keian’s mom.

Due to COVID-19 the Blundell family has limited the number of donation drop-off locations this year, but the public can bring unwrapped toys, gift cards or cash to the following Surrey RCMP detachments: 14355 57 Ave., 7235 137 St., 10395 148 St., or 10720 King George Blvd.

And in Langley at Keian’s preschool, Kids in the Grove at West Langley Elementary (9403 212 St.).

“Last year, with the help of the generous community, we were able to raise more than $9400 in cash donations and 1800 toys,” Cst. Mark Peterse, with the Surrey community response unit.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and hope this year, despite the challenges we have faced, we can continue to bring holiday cheer to these children and their families who are already going through so much,” he added.

The family reminds those wishing to donate in-person to follow all public health guidelines.

But for those who wish to donate from a distance the family has included a new element to this year’s fundraiser.

“We know that there is going to be a lot of people who are uncomfortable with doing that (donating in-person) this year, which is why we opted to set up the Amazon Wishlist, where basically when people shop there, they can choose their items and they can click to actually send it to us… so it’ll arrive at our home and there is no contact needed,” Chantal explained.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley-based Christmas toy drive and fundraiser prevails despite COVID-19

Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive runs Nov. 13 to Dec. 11 this year.

The family anticipates to deliver all donations to the hospital about a week after the end of the toy drive.

“It’s likely going to look like an outside drop-off,” Chantal said.

For more information and to donate visit Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/271823200828122, or access the Amazon Wishlist at amzn.to/3dEKFjU.

Alternatively, shop the wishlist by scanning the QR code located in the information poster.

“It’s about helping these kids have a great Christmas,” Chantal said.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasCoronavirusfundraiser

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

Just Posted

St. John Ambulance is looking for financial support in its bid to install 1,000 publicly accessible AED devices throughout British Columbia. The stands which hold the defibrillator also contain naloxone and first aid kits. Cost to equip and install each stand is around $8,000. (stock photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

First of two defibrillators planned for Crescent Beach already in place

Alex Browne photo The felling of two mature Douglas Fir ‘eagle trees’ on Oxford Street, just south of Prospect Avenue, in June of 2019, prompted a review of tree management bylaws and policies now before White Rock council. The trees were felled on instructions from City of White Rock staff, who said the work was necessary because they had become hazardous. (File photo)
City of White Rock mulls ‘tree protection’ bylaw

More stringent measures needed to protect canopy – councillor

RCMP are looking for “an unknown man who wrapped his arms around” a female youth in Clayton Feb. 26. (Black Press file photo)
Youth assaulted by unknown man in Cloverdale

Mounties looking for ‘tall and thin’ Caucasian man in his 40’s with short dark brown hair

teeaser
Surrey TEDx talks move online with ‘fast-paced’ event that’s free to watch March 27

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted 900 spectators to Bell theatre

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

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

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read