AVA CALDWELL

Little girl with big heart cycles to Comox Valley for cancer patient

Ten-year-old Ava Caldwell rode her bike over 250 kilometres — and raised about $3,000 — to help a friend with cancer.

Ten-year-old Ava Caldwell rode her bike over 250 kilometres — and raised about $3,000 — to help a friend with cancer.

Caldwell is a past École Puntledge Park Elementary student. With the support of her family she rode her bike from Pemberton, B.C. to her old school in Courtenay. She arrived Monday, with her old class at Puntledge joining in for last leg of the journey from Royston.

“It went pretty good,” said Caldwell minutes after arriving at Puntledge. “It’s nice to see my friends again, and to know that I did this for my friend Ruby.”

Caldwell became friends with classmate Ruby Poirier in kindergarten at Puntledge school, and they have been friends ever since.

Poirier was diagnosed with leukemia when she was six years old, and after years of remission, she and her family were told late last year that the cancer had come back.

Caldwell and her family moved to Pemberton around the time that Poirier started going back to Vancouver for treatment. Caldwell has kept in touch with her friend, visiting her in hospital in Vancouver.

“I went to see Ruby in the hospital on her birthday,” Caldwell wrote on her blog over a week ago. “She is still in isolation so all of her presents and treats had to be washed before she could play with them.

“I had to wear a gown to make sure we didn’t bring in any germs so Ruby was protected, after her bone marrow transplant. It was a good visit!”

On Thursday, Caldwell left her home in Pemberton with her brother Alex, who rode the entire way alongside his sister. Ava’s parents Neil Caldwell and Kirsten Ellingson took turns, riding their bikes with the kids and driving the family’s vehicle, throughout the trip.

Ava noted some parts of the trip were fairly tiring, and though her family does plenty of mountain biking and hiking, but this trip was “the biggest bike I’ve done.”

She had some support along the way with fundraising stops at Nesters Market in Whistler and Squamish, according to Neil.

“And then in Squamish we had a whole bunch of other families and kids join us and some rode all the way to Horseshoe Bay,” Neil recalled, noting he and Ellingson organized some of the fundraisers,but Ava came up with the idea for the bike ride and organized much of the trip. “Ava kind of spearheaded the whole thing — she organized it, she made a blog for herself — so it’s been really good for her.”

Neil noted people from as far away as San Francisco have donated money for Poirier and her family via Ava’s blog at www.ridingforuby.blogspot.ca.

“It’s really incredible that kids can have such a powerful impact on families and each other and the community, and just they can do a lot,” said Neil. “They’re way more capable than we give them credit for a lot of times, so it’s pretty neat.”

Ava said she is considering doing another fundraiser because of a girl she met on her trip who told Ava about her two-year-old sister who has cancer.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Comox Change the Debate event set for Wednesday night in Marina Park

Event in solidarity with others across Canada to demand a leaders’ debate on climate change on CBC

Waiting game for Cumberland cannabis licence hopefuls

Applicants gained local support but are going through checks with province

Comox Valley’s music fest feels like ‘best ever’ to organizer

Vancouver Island Music Festival didn’t sell out but still saw strong turnout

Comox cadet spends summer servicing aircraft

Cadet Warrant Officer Second Class Mitchell Mansfield from Comox, is spending his… Continue reading

New producer at the helm for Comox Nautical Days

Nautical Days has a new producer, but those planning on attending the… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Council restricts water bottling, adopts Urban Forest Strategy

Courtenay council adopted a bylaw Monday to restrict water bottling in all… Continue reading

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Most Read