Meet Kerena, Jordan, Caynan, Dryden, Gibson, Watson, and Heston Letcher.
The whole family (all seven of them!) have been coming to Canuck Place since March 2015 for medical support and respite care.
Heston Letcher was diagnosed at the age of 3 with MPS III, type A. A regressive, genetic disease. Now 5 years-old, Heston is entering kindergarten, but he requires care for all of his basic needs.
Due to the Heston’s medical needs and the large size of their family, travel is hard for the Letchers. Anywhere they go requires two hotel rooms and a special bed for Heston, but Canuck Place allows them all to have a holiday that is easy, enjoyable, and safe for the whole family. Above all, it allows them to just be together.
“A respite stay for our family means more time together, to play, see places, and sometimes relax. Not having to clean and cook allows us to spend more time with the kids,” said mom, Kerena Letcher. “Being able to stay in Vancouver allows us to have outings to places that we normally wouldn’t get to, living on Vancouver Island.”
Canuck Place is quickly becoming a home away from home for the family.
“We are always so welcomed there, and look forward to our visits so much,” said Kerena. “We have learned over this past year that we need to make the most of our time with Heston, and Canuck Place gives us an opportunity to go somewhere with our whole family, where he can be included.”
Two year-old twins, Gibson and Watson were counting down the days to the family’s most recent visit. There are plenty of fun activities for the energetic twins to keep busy, whether they’re joining a recreation therapy outing, goofing off inside with volunteers, or playing hockey on the playground.
The older boys, Caynan and Dryden set aside some time during their stay for the schoolroom, where a Canuck Place teacher is on hand to help them keep up with any missing schoolwork during the family’s stay.
Life for any family with five boys is hectic, a sick child just makes the everyday a little more complicated. Canuck Place is there to help ease the complications, and let the family focus on being together as a family, and enjoying the time they have with Heston, and each other.
“It gives us such a peace of mind knowing that we have a place to stay,” said Kerena. “Not only for respite, but also for symptom management and end-of-life care in the future. We know there will be very difficult times ahead for us with Heston, and we are so thankful that we have support ready for us at Canuck Place.”
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