Wendy Leblanc is doing what she can to prevent her son Isaac, 27, from living in a seniors home.
Appearing before Courtenay council Monday, Leblanc is raising funds to renovate Isaac’s duplex.
Her son has a mysterious disease that has left him paralyzed. His house would need various additions such as a wheelchair ramp but Wendy is facing financial challenges. A permit, she notes, is particularly expensive.
“As a mother I’m begging you, can you please help with the permit?” said Wendy, who was accompanied by her friend, Evangeline Mathura.
They have raised about $10,000. The fundraising goal is $50,000.
They hope to begin construction in the next couple of months, but could use further assistance from the public and/or businesses.
“My heart goes out to you,” said Coun. Starr Winchester, who questioned if the request falls within council’s mandate.
Mathura understands council faces numerous requests for assistance.
City staff said a bylaw amendment is needed to waive fees, in answer to a question from Coun. Manno Theos.
The Leblanc family and Mathura are waiting to hear back from government on a grant approval that would significantly reduce renovation costs.
“I know that’s not the place (extended care) for a young man to be,” said Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard, who suggested writing a letter to senior levels of government.
After nearly two years of hospital stays, doctors finally diagnosed Isaac with a rare form of multiple sclerosis called Marburg, but doctors still aren’t completely sure of the diagnosis.