When the organizers of the Saturday bottle drive for six-year-old Langley cancer patient Keian Blundell arrived to set up in the parking lot of the George Preston Recreation Centre, people were already waiting with donations.
And they kept coming.
About $4,000 worth of cans and bottles were dropped off between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, along with another $1,600 in cash donations.
It was more than the trucks the organizers had arranged could carry without making several trips to the Langley Bottle Depot on Industrial Avenue, so the people at the depot came to the parking lot to help.
Organizers have been told it was a new record for a bottle drive at the Industrial Avenue depot, surpassing the previous all-time high of $3,400 set by a Scout group drive in 2012.
“We didn’t expect to get so much,” delighted organizer Aimee Hildebrandt, a family friend, said Monday.
“It was crazy. Crazy in a good way.”
The amount raised will be added to $31,000 which has already been donated so far to the Blundell family.
With contributions continuing to come in, Hildebrandt is cautiously optimistic the total will top $40,000. She said there are tentative plans for a pub night fundraiser in the near future.
Keian was diagnosed with leukemia last July.
He has undergone radiation treatments, chemotherapy and received a bone marrow transplant from his younger brother Joren, but the cancer has come back, twice.
Keian began a third round of treatment at the end of July.
“We are down, but not out,” the family said in an online blog at http://keiansjourney.blogspot.ca.
“We do not give up, we endure.”
The money raised by the bottle drive and other fundraisers will help Keian’s parents Chantal and Ryan, who have both taken time away from work to spend as much time as they can at B.C. Children’s Hospital with their son, said Hildebrandt.
Ryan has exhausted his employment insurance benefits and the family has had to give up their rental home in Langley.
They are currently living in an apartment provided by the hospital as a temporary measure.
Donations to a family trust account can be made at any Royal Bank branch. The account number is 5331970, transit number 2880 and bank number 003.