Entertainment

Birthday bash in Kelowna raises $30,000 and more

Isla Ransom has a genetic condition called Edward
Isla Ransom has a genetic condition called Edward's syndrome and her family celebrates her birthday each year with a giant public fundraiser for the facility offering them the most help—Canuck Place.
— image credit: contributed

Faucher blows up for her daughter’s birthday this year, another family’s load should feel a little lighter.

Faucher’s daughter, Isla Ransom, has a genetic condition called Edward’s syndrome—a double 18th chromosome.

With each year she grows older and stronger and her mother holds a public celebration to benefit their home-away-from-home, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

“They have so much insight on her care and illness,” said Faucher. “They’ve helped us right from the beginning with Isla and they are a great resource for us.”

The hospice is a place for families to access respite services, ask questions of nurses trained to deal with their unique needs and book a room when hospital visits demand a trip to the Coast.

With a raft of physical symptoms ranging from heart abnormalities to kidney malformations, the syndrome doesn’t offer parents’ a great future.

“I really didn’t have any hope that she was going to make it to her first birthday,” Faucher told the Capital News in 2012. “So when her first birthday was coming up, and so many people had helped us along the way, I just thought we have to do something to really celebrate.”

This is how Isla’s birthday celebration was born.

Faucher had worked at Summerhill Pyramid Winery and called to see if they could accommodate a big event. Little did the winery know, it would become an annual affair.

Today, the mother of three has raised $30,000 for Canuck Place and the celebration has grown more unique each year.

capesHer neighbour is honouring Isla, and the other children with life threatening illnesses who regularly attend, with capes this time, and the adults will be able to raise a glass in toast.

“It’s a pretty good deal for $20 and I think the weather is always nice,” said Faucher.

There is a tattoo station for the kids, door prizes, crafts and for the adults; gourmet appies, wine, bubbly and a live auction.

The party is a chance for her friends and family and supportive community members to let down their hair and have some fun in her honour as she continues to face serious challenges each year.

April and May seem to be particularly tough months in her world as the types of bugs circulating seem to change in the spring, making her particularly susceptible to life-threatening issues.

“She had a fantastic year up until April when she got a double ear infection and pneumonia,” said Faucher. She went into respiratory distress.

Whenever this happens her parents must endure some difficult end-of-life questions and the hospice offers great relief until she’s out of the woods.

On any given day, Isla is now focused on enjoying her two siblings as her mom prepares for her entrance to Kindergarten.

Isla and her family would love to see as many people as possible join them at her birthday bash this year. The event will be held May 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids five and over and are on sale now at Frock Clothing store, 1567 Pandosy St., and Summerhill Pyramid Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Rd.

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