A Nanaimo car dealership is hosting a fundraiser barbecue to help a boy and his family battle a serious illness.
Khailnn Burdock, 14, has juvenile polyposis syndrome, a relatively rare, but serious disorder that causes polyps to grow in a person’s gastrointestinal tract.
The polyps can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia, abdominal pain and diarrhea, weight loss and a host of other unpleasant, painful and even life-threatening conditions.
The disease is caused in about 75 per cent of cases by an inherited gene mutation. In Khailnn’s case it was passed down through his mother’s side of the family of which several members have or have had the disease.
The polyps that form are usually benign growths, but there is about a 10 to 50 percent chance that they can turn cancerous.
Khailnn started suffering symptoms when he was nine and was diagnosed with the disorder in 2012. In his case the polyps grew prolifically and rapidly, often a precursor to colon cancer. Concerned Khailnn was at high risk for contracting cancer, doctors at B.C. Children’s Hospital opted in June to remove the majority of Khailnn’s large intestine.
“He’s had a complete ileostomy,” said Maurice, Khailnn’s father. “That’s basically from the bottom of the lower intestine all the way to the rectum gone. He is one of 24 people in people in Canada with the disease.”
For the past few months Khailnn has relied on colostomy bags, which B.C. Medical does not cover, to collect his waste. Ten colostomy bags cost $132.
Typically one bag lasts about three days.
There are also costs for accessories, such as special tape and saline solution used for an incision from his operation that is still healing, plus antidiarrheal medications.
“He has medication just so his food can stay in him longer,” Maurice said.
Life is pretty far removed from what it was for the aspiring football star who helped his team, the Barsby Bulldogs, win a provincial championship in 2012. He’s currently too weak to take on a lot of activity and he has lost a tremendous amount of weight compared to when he was a beefy offfensive lineman for the team.
Once Khailnn’s condition stabilizes doctors plan to perform a reverse ileostomy, hopefully in October, after which he will no longer have to rely on colostomy bags.
Even with the reversal procedure, for the rest of his life Khailnn will have difficulties with nutrition and hydration.
What the family needs is enough financial help to help get them cover costs for medical supplies until the reversal procedure can be done.
“I don’t have a number. Anything we can get will be a blessing,” Maurice said.
Staff at Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln are doing what they can to to help out by teaming up with the Burdock family for a barbecue fundraiser Saturday (Sept. 21) noon to 4 p.m. at the dealership at 3851 Shenton Rd.
The Burdocks with friends and supporters will be grilling up burgers during the dealership’s final day of its Round Up of Markdowns event, featuring the Showcase Showdown prize draw to give supporters a chance to win a mystery vehicle valued at more than $2,500.