Elysha Gordon, left, Carrie Cross Wells and Erin Kaetler, took part in a fundraiser Dec. 5, benefiting Bruce and Cindra Caverley, a Nanaimo couple both suffering from Stage 4 cancer. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Elysha Gordon, left, Carrie Cross Wells and Erin Kaetler, took part in a fundraiser Dec. 5, benefiting Bruce and Cindra Caverley, a Nanaimo couple both suffering from Stage 4 cancer. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Community helps light up the season for Nanaimo mom and dad who both have cancer

Convoys parading past festively decorated house in central Nanaimo

A Nanaimo couple suffering from advanced cancer is feeling love from friends and strangers who are donating money to support them in their time of need.

Bruce and Cindra Caverley, homeowners with three children, have both been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer (urethral carcinoma and breast cancer respectively). They aren’t working and have faced in a financial crunch during the pandemic, according to Elysha Gordon, a longtime family friend, who has known Cindra since Grade 8 at Nanaimo District Secondary School.

The couple has started a GoFundMe page and friends have been organizing a series of fundraisers in which people drive by the family’s festively decorated house on Bob-O-Link Way. Gordon organized one such fundraiser on Dec. 5 and said the Caverleys have “hearts of gold who would do anything for anybody.”

Gordon said her friends have given back to the community with involvement with Girl Guides and youth soccer, and would do the same for others in need.

“Before we just used to donate to breast cancer [walks], but [when] you know people that have it, I’d rather give money directly somebody knowing that I’m helping them buy groceries, or cheer them up, or pay hydro bills,” said Carrie Cross Wells, another friend.

“If there’s a family in need, especially at Christmas time, it’s nice to be able to donate directly to the family,” said Gordon.

Vehicles from the Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks and Nanaimo Fire Rescue took part Dec. 5 and a convoy fundraiser is planned for about 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, organized by Steve Blunt from Mid-Island Towing, another long-time friend, and Elaine Nelson-Hosak. The procession will start at Nanaimo Alliance Church at Meredith Road.

“My son battled cancer and beat it,” said Blunt. “I’ve lost family members to it, so I react fairly quickly to these kind of things … I’m going to be dressed as Santa Claus at the end of it and driving my flat-deck as the sleigh, so to speak.”

The couple says they are touched by the outpouring of love.

“The way the community has come together has been just amazing … people that we don’t even know just showing support like crazy,” said Bruce. “And obviously all of our friends and family as well on top of that, it’s super overwhelming.”

“We truly believe it’s like a Christmas miracle, really,” said Cindra. “At this time of year, COVID-19 going on, everyone has so much to deal with personally, but for them still to just put their hands up and say, ‘We want to help this family,’ has been beautiful.”

For more information on the Caverley family, go here, or go to ca.gofundme.com and search for the Caverley family.

For more on holiday season charity campaigns in Nanaimo, click here.


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