B.C. girl makes birthday wish for Ronald McDonald House after uncle’s kidney transplant

Raija Paul launched a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House on her tenth birthday.Raija Paul launched a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House on her tenth birthday.
Raija Paul walks the hallway of B.C. Children’s Hospital with her uncle Tyson. Raija’s mother Cynthia says Raija would always look for Tyson and make sure he was okay when he walked around by himself. The family would often be worried he could fall due to weakness. (Synthia Paul photo)Raija Paul walks the hallway of B.C. Children’s Hospital with her uncle Tyson. Raija’s mother Cynthia says Raija would always look for Tyson and make sure he was okay when he walked around by himself. The family would often be worried he could fall due to weakness. (Synthia Paul photo)
Raija Paul enjoys some time with her uncle Tyson. (Synthia Paul photo)Raija Paul enjoys some time with her uncle Tyson. (Synthia Paul photo)
Raija (back) with her uncle Tyson and grandmother Zena. (Synthia Paul photo)Raija (back) with her uncle Tyson and grandmother Zena. (Synthia Paul photo)

All 10-year-old Raija Paul wanted for her birthday was to give back.

Raija launched a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House on her 10th birthday last week Tuesday, Oct. 6.

“It brought me to tears,” said Raija’s grandmother Zena Chelsea.

“Ronald McDonald House did a lot for our family, and for Raija to give back that just shows she appreciates it, and that’s something she came up with herself.”

Raija’s uncle Nicholas (Nick) Paul of the Esk’etemc First Nation south of Williams Lake was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. For two years the family was able to stay close by Nick’s side through Ronald McDonald House as he received treatments at the B.C.’s Children Hospital in Vancouver. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 16 in 2012.

Less than seven years later, the family would once again find themselves at Ronald McDonald House in January 2019 as Raija’s youngest uncle Tyson Paul almost lost his life to ANCA vasculitis. The rare autoimmune disease put him on the transplant list after rendering his kidneys useless.

It was not until this year on Aug. 5 Tyson would receive a kidney transplant after countless rounds of hemodialysis.

Read More: Patients bumped by COVID face anxiety, as health system searches for alternatives

Read More: Fraser Valley hotdog king is donating kidney to a customer

“We always have conversations around how grateful we are for the extra support our family has been given because in the past 10 years we, as a family, had to stay close to B.C. Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House has been a huge part of our family’s lives,” said Raija’s mother Synthia Paul.

Since 1983, Ronald McDonald House has provided housing for families needing to travel long distances to receive specialized care in Vancouver for their sick child. Without Ronald McDonald House, Chelsea said they would have had to likely stay in a hotel.

Late Friday, Oct. 9 Tyson would receive his final surgical procedure to remove his hemodialysis catheter before being sent home.

Through her birthday fundraiser Raija hopes to be able to sponsor 100 nights of stays. Ronald McDonald House charges families a nominal fee of $12 per night.

As of Oct. 13, Raija has raised $725.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

File photo
Man escapes truck incident unscathed

Submitted by Sgt. G.D. Simpson October 19 The Clearwater RCMP detachment received… Continue reading

Peter Milobar, BC Liberal candidate for the Kamloops-North Thompson has been elected for a second term. Milobar is pictured here with his wife Lianne. (Facebook photo)
Milobar takes Kamloops – North Thompson for a second term

Peter Milobar, the BC Liberal candidate for the Kamloops-North Thompson has been… Continue reading

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Most Read