Community rallies for 10-year-old Corbin Lew

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
February 17th, 2011

 Anyone who knows 10-year-old Grade 5 student Corbin Lew probably knows by now that he’s struggling.

  Corbin, a Twin Rivers student along with his twin brother Chris, has been in the Vancouver Children’s Hospital since Jan. 14, and was diagnosed, this Friday, with a brain cancer, or lymphoma. (Chris is healthy and strong, providing emotional support along with his parents).  Corbin’s parents, Connie and Paul, have asked that the media report they are no longer together as a couple, but are very much together as their family faces this battle.  “(The cancer) is in his brain … it’s very rare,” said Corbin’s aunt and spokesperson Shauna Hegan. “The doctors are highly positive in the treatment – they said it was caught in time and responds well to treatment.”  Hegan said there are more tests to be done, but the current prognosis involves six months of Chemotherapy, and promises very good odds for the child’s recovery.  In the interim however, the family is facing a terrible financial burden, needing to maintain their household in Castlegar so Corbin and Chris have a home to come back to after treatment, but also having to provide a home in Vancouver near the Children’s hospital, not to mention paying for travel expenses and the many other costs involved in grave medical intervention.  Several fundraisers are in the works to help out – yesterday saw a cupcake sale staged by Corbin’s Twin Rivers classroom, while this Saturday will see a bake/garage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Legion hall downtown.  Organizer Joanne Baker said her granddaughters helped her come up with the idea.  “Shailynn and Savonnah go to school with Corbin and Chris – they’ve known each other since Kindergarten,” Baker said. “They really wanted to do something to help, and my neighbor was moving and getting rid of a bunch of stuff … I approached the Legion, and they immediately donated the hall. My carport is really filling up with donations for the sale.”  Anyone with items to sell can catch up with Baker at the Legion downtown on Friday between about 6 and 7:30 p.m. as she sets up for the sale.  On Feb. 27 at the Sandman Hotel, there will be a family-friendly event and silent auction (bring the kids) from 12:30 to 3 p.m..  Also on tap is Mountain FM’s spring concert series, the proceeds of which will go to Corbin and his family, as will the money raised by a soon-to-be-announced benefit concert by the students of Supercat Studios here in Castlegar. There’s also an on-going bottle drop at Tee-Jay’s downtown – just let them know you’re donating your recycling to Corbin.  Monetary donations can be dropped off at Bank of Montreal here in town, where there’s an account in Connie Lew’s name, or at Twin Rivers Elementary, where principal Doug Hickey has committed to forwarding any and all donations to the Lew’s BMO account.  Hegan says the family is enormously grateful for everything the community is doing.  “It just means so much,” she said. “Everything helps right now.”

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