Sooke community raises more than $20,000 for sick boy with rare Juvenile Arthritis


WATCH: A community is rallying to help a young Sooke boy battling a rare form of juvenile arthritis. Six-year-old Landen needs a drug that costs thousands of dollars a month. But he’s been denied coverage by the BC government. So the community stepped up ? raising more than $20,000 towards his treatment. Luisa Alvarez reports.

Six-year-old Landen Alexa has been through more than any child should ever have to go through.

He is battling a rare form of Juvenile arthritis and has had no success finding a treatment option that has helped him.

One option he hasn’t tried is Canakinumab.

His mother, Jillian Lanthier, says his doctors think it would really make a difference but, it’s $19,000 a month and he’s been denied coverage by the BC government for it several times.

But one thing is for certain, in all of this Lanthier’s community of Sooke has really been behind her.

Margaret Ayres and Sabrina L’Heureux are just two examples of strangers that really wanted to make a difference.

“I feel like especially in Sooke there are a lot of young families here and there are a lot of mom and us kind of have that unspoken support for each other,” said Ayres.

Both women came up with a fundraising idea and got to work. L’Heureux organized a silent auction and received overwhelming help and support.

“Once the auction was live online I had everyday people sending me messages saying oh I just saw your auction online I want to donate something. We had so many that we actually couldn’t keep up with all of them,” said L’Heureux.

The auction in total raised over $7,000 and  Ayres organized a family carnival on March 3, filled with games, face painting and prizes ? and at night threw a dance for the adults.

Both received just as much support.

“In the day at the event I had people walking up to me just handing me money saying that they just wanted to donate and all the businesses that stepped up, there was nobody that said no we don’t want any part of this, everybody wanted to support,” said Ayres.

In one day they raised just over $19,000 and after the event Ayres said people kept donating to the account.

The balance is now at over $23,000 but it doesn’t stop there. Jillian go-fund me is almost at $16,000 and if you think Sooke is done, think again.

“There is a beer and burger night this weekend at the Axe and Barrel and then the legion in town is doing a dance on the 24th,” said L’Heureux.

All of which will go towards the goal of fundraising enough to pay for three months worth of  Landen’s treatment, because if there is something Sooke has shown is that there is nothing you can’t do with a community rallying behind you.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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