Ral­ly­ing for Cal­lum

Mu­si­cians, sports teams and Belfast com­mu­nity jump in to raise money for fam­ily of se­ri­ously ill young child

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - NEWS - BY DAVE STE­WART dstew­art@the­guardian.pe.ca

There has been an out­pour­ing of sup­port for the Thom­son fam­ily.

Brian and Kyla Thom­son’s eight-year-old son Cal­lum was di­ag­nosed with APL leukemia by doc­tors at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal in Char­lot­te­town on New Year’s Eve.

Ever since, friends, fam­ily, the Belfast com­mu­nity, Is­land mu­si­cians and sports teams from the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League and the NHL have ral­lied around the fam­ily.

A skate at the Belfast Recre­ation Cen­tre raised $5,480. The Belfast ju­nior C Sabres do­nated ap­prox­i­mately $1,300 from a hockey game (the 50/50 win­ner do­nated his win­nings). Other hockey teams from across the prov­ince have sent money.

Toques with “Go Cal Go” sewn into them have been sell­ing like hot cakes, and bracelets are on sale that say “Kick­ing It With Cal­lum”.

One of Cal­lum’s best friends, Blake Wil­son, made or­ange leukemia aware­ness rib­bons and raised $300.

“I wanted to help my friend and his fam­ily,’’ Blake told The Guardian.

The Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders and other QMJHL teams have sent care pack­ages to Cal­lum at the IWK.

And the Ottawa Sen­a­tors sent an au­to­graphed Erik Karls­son jersey, T-shirt, hat, two bob­ble­heads and a cou­ple of au­to­graphed pic­tures.

Cal­lum also re­ceived a phone call from Sen­a­tors head coach and P.E.I. na­tive Dave Cameron.

Mi­randa MacKenna helped set up an on­line auc­tion at www.go­calgo.com. Bid­ding closes Jan. 28.

“It is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing how peo­ple ral­lied to­gether so quickly for Cal and his fam­ily,’’ McKenna said.

A ben­e­fit con­cert fea­tur­ing nu­mer­ous mu­si­cians is set for Sun­day, Jan. 31, 2 p.m., at Belfast Con­sol­i­dated School.

Ken­dall Docherty, one of the singers who will per­form, said when a child is sick it’s im­por­tant to help make sure his par­ents and fam­ily are near.

“The com­mu­nity of Belfast has a long his­tory of pulling to­gether to help raise funds for those in need,’’ Docherty said.

“Cal­lum is one lucky boy to live in this com­mu­nity as folks will join to­gether to raise the nec­es­sary funds needed so th­ese par­ents can be with their son; to help him get bet­ter with­out the stress and worry about money.’’

Deb­bie Cooper Beck, whose son, Quintin, is friends with Cal­lum, said the re­sponse has been amaz­ing.

“Cal­lum and Quintin have been best buds since be­fore they could talk, and the first thing I wanted to do was help make things eas­ier for them in such a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion,’’ said Cooper Beck, who helped or­ga­nize the ben­e­fit.

Kyla strug­gles to find the words to ex­press and grate­ful she and Brian are.

“Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough,’’ she said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Eight-year-old Cal­lum Thom­son of Pinette proudly dis­plays his au­to­graphed jersey from Erik Karls­son of the Ottawa Sen­a­tors. The jersey ar­rived at the IWK Health Cen­tre in Hal­i­fax on Thurs­day where Cal­lum is cur­rently be­ing treated for APL leukemia. That treat­ment will keep the young boy in Hal­i­fax for the next nine months. There has been an out­pour­ing of sup­port for the fam­ily through­out the Belfast area and across the prov­ince.

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