Team Justin, made up of back row – Tristan Tardiff, Wyatt Cyr, Jack Abraham, Aaron Hutchinson and Cache McBurney; front row – Sam Abraham and Jaeden Williams, will be walking around Blind Bay on Saturday, Dec. 2, collecting bottles and cans to raise funds for the family of their friend Justin Brouwer who is being treated for brain cancer in B.C. Children’s Hospital. - Image contributed.

Children support friend with cancer

Bottle drive set for Saturday, Dec. 2 in Blind Bay

A bottle drive born of friendship and caring will be taking place this Saturday in Blind Bay.

Jennifer Abraham explains that her son Jack has been friends with Justin Brouwer since kindergarten. They are both in Grade 4 now in Sorrento Elementary. Justin was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and is undergoing treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“When we heard the news it was obviously really upsetting; we were thinking what could we do to help them,” says Jennifer. “We wanted to donate money… and the kids wanted to become involved.”

They decided on a bottle drive, and Jack recruited his buddies, kids who have also been friends with Justin since kindergarten.

Jack came up with the name ‘Team Justin’ and they decided to have T-shirts made. They chose orange, Justin’s favourite colour, and the picture of a moose, which Justin likes.

The owner of Watermark Solutions in Blind Bay, whose daughter also knows Justin, designed and provided the T-shirts at no cost.

Jennifer has been accepting bottle and can donations prior to Saturday’s bottle drive, and will continue after if the donations continue.

She has a trailer with a big sign set up in front of her house at 2242 Lakeview Dr. in Blind Bay. She has even been picking up some donations.

“People want to help so much, you don’t want to turn down anything, and any little bit helps.”

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the boys will set out on foot, picking up donations, with parents following along in cars.

“The boys will be doing the work, talking to the people,” Jennifer says.

They’ll continue as long as they can, probably until about 4 p.m.

“The boys just wanted to support each other through it – they don’t really understand.”

Jennifer says a couple of teachers in Salmon Arm who used to teach in Sorrento wanted to help, so she picked up their donations.

“It’s really amazing… Little kids at the school are giving Jack money as they don’t have any bottles.”

Jennifer says she is grateful to the community for coming together to help.

“It’s just a simple thing – I hope everybody gets out and cheers these boys on,” she says. “I’m really proud of them all. They really care for their friend and it’s important for them to give, to be contributing. They’ve been writing him letters, but they feel helpless at this age to contribute money – this is their way of doing it.”

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