Raffle benefits children’s hospice

NANAIMO – Brayden's Legacy Raffle prizes include Vancouver Canucks tickets.

When Deedee Woodward and gave birth to her son Brayden nearly 10 years ago in Kamloops it should have been a joyful occasion.But shortly after his birth, doctors determined that Brayden had DiGeorge Syndrome, a disorder caused by the defection of chromosome 22. The disorder leads to the underdevelopment of vital systems and organs within the body. Doctors in Kamloops immediately sent Brayden to the B.C. Children’s Hospital, where it was determined that he would die as a result of the disorder. The family was then sent to the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver for end-of-life care. A few weeks after they arrived, Brayden died. “It was the worst experience a parent can ever go through,” Woodward said. “You don’t expect it and it is just awful.” As a way to give back to the organization that made the horrific experience as comfortable as possible, Woodward, who now lives in Nanaimo, has created Brayden’s Legacy Raffle, which will take place on March 20. Money raised from the raffle will go directly to Canuck Place and Woodward is hoping to raise $10,000. The raffle also honours the 10-year anniversary of Brayden’s birth and death. Among the top prizes to be had are an autographed Trevor Linden jersey plus two lower-bowl tickets to see the Vancouver Canucks take on the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena on April 4 and a three-night stay at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay that includes a $150 dining credit as well as whale watching for two and a gift basket. Other prizes include two nights at the Ramada in Kamloops, one-night stay at the Chateau Whistler as well as gift certificates to a local businesses such as  A Wee Cupcakery, Rewsters Restaurant and Brechin Lanes bowling alley. “It is just really wanting to give back to a group that did so much for us in a time of need,” Woodward said. Canuck Place was first opened in 1995, becoming North America’s first free-standing children’s hospice. Today it operates houses in Vancouver and Abbotsford, which provide palliative care to more than 600 kids with terminal or life-limiting illnesses. Woodward credits Canuck Place for doing everything it could to help her and her family feel comfortable during an extremely difficult time. “We were able to go from being in a sterile hospital environment and eating cheese sandwiches out of a vending machine at night to a home,” Woodward said. “It was a clean home. It was comfortable. We had a family suite that had three beds … all our family and friends could come and hang out with us and we had home-cooked meals. They did everything possible to make it feel like home.”She recalled how when Brayden’s father mentioned he dreamed of being able to take his son fishing and how Canuck Place made it happen. “They called the B.C. Fresh Water Fishing Society, who brought trout fish in those big blue totes and set it up in the garden unbeknownst to us and had us come out and go fishing,” she said. Tickets for the Brayden’s Legacy Raffle are $10 and can be purchased by calling 250-714-4383 or by e-mailing kdbcmay32006@yahoo.ca. For more information, including a full list of prizes, please visit http://bit.ly/1KDFCd9.

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