Comox Valley students support teacher by donating to BC Children’s Hospital

A heart-warming tale of charity and goodwill has emerged from the “big, bad front page stories” from an ongoing BCTF labour dispute.

TEACHER MYRA WILSON is 'awestruck' by a donation her class made to BC Children's Hospital.

TEACHER MYRA WILSON is 'awestruck' by a donation her class made to BC Children's Hospital.

A heart-warming tale of charity and goodwill has recently emerged from the profusion of “big, bad front page stories” an ongoing BCTF labour dispute has spawned, says SD71 teacher Myra Wilson.

When workplace negotiations prompted B.C. school districts to withdraw from extracurricular activities, Wilson and her Grade 5/6 class at Aspen Park Elementary were forced to abandon plans for a multi-day trip to Victoria’s legislature buildings.

What her students have done with the money reserved for the cancelled outing has left Wilson awestruck.

“My co-workers and I were all so nervous about telling our students that trips had been cancelled,” admits Wilson, “but it’s turned into so many other great things.”

Once the cancellation was announced, a portion of the money students had raised towards the excursion was reserved for a day trip to Parksville; the fate of the remaining $500 — accrued through the sale of fun-shaped pasta, coffee and lollipops — was decided by class vote.

After talk of donating the remaining funds to a local charity, Wilson says her class proposed Children’s Hospital “all on their own.”

“Somebody shouted out Children’s Hospital,” says student Jade Potts, “and then we all agreed to it because all of our class knows that Ms. Wilson’s daughter goes to Children’s Hospital.”

Wilson, her husband, and their daughter Lauren have been in and out of Children’s Hospital since October when the three-year-old was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

The condition, which affects one in 1,000 children under the age of 16, causes persistent join pain, stiffness and swelling. Wilson says the resultant limp Lauren developed “slowly got worse” until she could hardly walk.

“We stopped going to the park because it just too depressing for her, being unable to climb and play.”

But Wilson insists her family has been lucky — “the medical community here is so great.”

A speedy diagnosis, ongoing local support, and specialist care at B.C. Children’s Hospital have led Lauren into complete remission.

“She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t run, she couldn’t jump,” says Aspen Park student Abby Buckley.  “But now because of B.C. Children’s Hospital she can do all that stuff.”

The class’s decision to support the charity came just days before B.C. Children’s Hospital’s annual Miracle Weekend. During the 11-hour telethon, Overwaitea pledged to double the funds her class had donated.

“I was so touched,” says Wilson of her students’ generosity. “To know 11-and 12-year-olds are thinking that way is really inspiring.  It’s been hard for teachers to have to cancel these trips, but we’re pleased to see such positive alternative activities planned.”

The class’s compassion has been contagious; another Aspen Park class is already proposing a donation to the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) in Courtenay.

Just Posted

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

An activist against human trafficking says the global sex trade is growing fast. Photo by Julian Rivera on Unsplash
Anti-human-trafficking educator appeals to Comox Valley Regional District board

Globalization, unregulated internet, limited law enforcement and a lack of prevention education… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 demo team returning to the Comox Valley for spring training

The team will be in the area from May 16 to 24

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Most Read