Five-year-old Abel is pictured with his parents, Jordanna Gawryluk and Dan Livingston, at the Cumberland Library. Scott Stanfield photo

Wish granted to Cumberland boy

Young Abel is off to Disney World

Help Fill A Dream has granted a wish to a Cumberland youngster with respiratory challenges. The Vancouver Island charity is sending five-year-old Abel Gawryluk-Livingston and his parents to Disney World in May.

“We were absolutely over the moon,” Abel’s mother Jordanna Gawryluk said upon hearing the news. “We are so thankful for it. I think I’m more excited than Abel.”

Born with a stomach issue, Abel underwent two surgeries before reaching his second birthday, and has been hospitalized numerous times for pneumonia. He was fitted with a trach, but ended up contracting chronic lung disease. He needs to be monitored at all times by someone who is ‘trach-trained,’ Jordanna said.

Abel is home schooled, but he has a chance to socialize every Tuesday on Interaction Day. He loves the outdoors, but needs to stay inside when it’s too cold or wet.

“He can’t play in the snow because it hurts his lungs too much,” Jordanna said. “If it’s too hot, it’s hard for him to breathe. He gets winded really easy. But he does still play with other kids.”

Since 1986, Help Fill A Dream has granted dreams and assistance to more than 2,300 children on Vancouver Island.

Organizers of a fifth annual fundraising gala dinner/auction hope to surpass the $100,000 mark to support the foundation. The event is April 28 at the K’omoks First Nation Band Hall.

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