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Clarke’s Beach boy’s cancer battle inspires grandmother to give back

Doris Brown and her grandson Harley Burry presenting their cheque to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Doris Brown and her grandson Harley Burry presenting their cheque to the Children’s Wish Foundation.

The family of a boy from Clarke’s Beach who has had his wish fulfilled by the Children’s Wish Foundation is raising money to help make other children’s wishes come to true.

Seven-year-old Harley Burry has battled T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia for three years.

“Harley started his chemotherapy on the 19th of February, 2014 when he got diagnosed. His last day for chemotherapy will be the 23rd of June this year,” the child’s grandmother Doris Brown said during a recent phone interview.

Brown lives in the central Newfoundland community of Hare Bay.

Her daughter Chantellynne Burry lives in Clarke’s Beach with her husband Dave Burry and their only child, Harley.

Brown said she has a very close relationship with Harley and his family.

She spent months away from her home three years ago, she said, to be with Harley after his initial cancer diagnosis. He was undergoing chemotherapy at the Janeway Children’s Hospital at the time, she said.

Seven-year-old Harley Burry has battled T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia for three years.

“Harley started his chemotherapy on the 19th of February, 2014 when he got diagnosed. His last day for chemotherapy will be the 23rd of June this year,” the child’s grandmother Doris Brown said during a recent phone interview.

Brown lives in the central Newfoundland community of Hare Bay.

Her daughter Chantellynne Burry lives in Clarke’s Beach with her husband Dave Burry and their only child, Harley.

Brown said she has a very close relationship with Harley and his family.

She spent months away from her home three years ago, she said, to be with Harley after his initial cancer diagnosis. He was undergoing chemotherapy at the Janeway Children’s Hospital at the time, she said.

Since her grandson’s diagnosis Brown has been raising money for the Janeway and children with cancer. Her efforts netted almost $9,000.

After the Children’s Wish Foundation granted Harley his wish of a fully equipped travel trailer in September 2015, Brown came up with several unique ways to raise money for Children’s Wish.

She made over 250 quillows (a blanket that turns into a pillow), sold plastic buckets for $2 each at her work (Gouldings Wholesales Ltd.) and made one-of-a-kind candy dishes from old records given to her by people in the community. The candy dishes were filled with candy donated by Ganong Canada.

Harley Burry with a Newfoundland quilt his grandmother, Doris Brown, made to raise money for the Janeway Children’s Hospital.

“I made the dishes one at a time. I shaped them with my own hands,” Brown said.

“And the people didn’t mind buying the buckets for such a worthwhile cause.”

Brown’s goal was to raise several hundred dollars for Children’s Wish. The buckets alone brought in over $900.

By the time she was ready to pass over the money to Children’s Wish in December 2016, she’d raised over $3,800.

Brown is grateful to everyone who supported her fundraising initiatives and to those who have stepped forward, in other ways, to make her son feel better during his battle with cancer.

In 2015 firefighters and police officers in her area arranged for her grandson to ride in their vehicles.

“They went all out for Harley,” Brown said.

Harley loves the travel trailer that he owns – thanks to the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Wish granting helps

The Children’s Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with a life-threatening, complex genetic or neurological illness.

Edie Newton, provincial director of the Children’s Wish Foundation, NL chapter said Children’s Wish has granted 25,000 wishes across Canada, over 800 of those here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Newton said no one knows the benefits a wish can have on the health of a child more than their family.

When a wish child or family member pays it forward, she said, it is a gift of love and compassion passed on to another child.

Newton said Children’s Wish Foundation, NL chapter does not receive any government funding or have a corporate patron. Rather Children’s Wish relies solely on individuals, corporate donations, sponsorship and event fundraising.

Without community support, Newton said, Children’s Wish would not be able to grant wishes.

“We are truly blessed to have the support we do, we never take it for granted and are most appreciative of the commitment and generosity of people of our province.”

Brown said she plans on continuing raising money for Children’s Wish.

“Watching Harley get his (travel) trailer... I thought about all the other (wish) kids and how much it actually costs to give them a wish. So I wanted to give back... all those kids are pretty precious,” Brown said.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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