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

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Most Read