Keian Blundell was just six-years-old when he passed away in his parents arms on New Years Day last year after a courageous battle with leukemia.
To honor this loving little Langley’ boy’s memory, his parents Chantal and Ryan are organizing Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive.
According to Chantal, the idea first began in 2012, when her son expressed that he was lucky to be able to be home for Christmas, while other children had to spend their time in the hospital.
“His wish was to help those to feel the love and joy that a holiday season should bring,” she said.
That first year, with the help of a family friend, Keian donated 16 toys to Children’s Hospital.
“He was so incredibly proud – he loaded all of the toys into a wagon and pranced up to his Oncology Ward,” recalled Chantal.
“He may have been proud of himself, but we, as his parents were bursting at the seams with pride. He was five; a brilliant soul, full of love and compassion.”
Last year, his wish became even bigger. With the help of many friends and the Blundell’s community; nearly 300 toys were hand delivered by Keian, to both BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
“He talked about helping others throughout his treatment and many experienced this first hand, ” said Chantal.
” He handed out cookies to thank staff for taking such good care of him, he thanked Jesus every night for helping him to “get better”, he brought candy canes and stuffed animals to other children staying in the hospital and many gestures of love that I could go on with forever. On one occasion, he told me that once he was “all better,” he would like to set up tables in a front yard; we would make food and lay out clothing that people would come to buy. We would use that money to buy presents, gift cards and also monetary donations. This would all be used so that we could help other families ‘like ours.'”
This year, Chantal and Ryan hope to make the biggest impact of all — to honour and the memory of their incredible little boy.
“Christmas was Keian’s favourite time of year; he was never all about the presents, but more so the bright lights, the joy of giving and family,” said Chantal.
“We would drive through neighbourhoods on Christmas Eve every year admiring light displays. On Christmas morning, rather than ripping into the gifts under the tree excitedly, he would calmly hand out gifts to our family and would smile absolutely beautifully as he watched us open.”
Shortly after Keian passed away, Chantal and Ryan watched a video of their Christmas in 2012 – it was five months after his cancer diagnosis.
“I honestly don’t think I could count on one hand how many times he expressed his love in the first five minutes; both in words and in expression. I will always remember these words; “This is the best Christmas, EVER!!!” This is what Keian wanted everyone to experience; especially children with life threatening illnesses.”
Keian’s Holiday Toy Drive runs until December 15. There are four drop-off locations (see poster below for details and contact info). Toys will be delivered to BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place.