If there ever was a family filled with love and laughter it is the Bertolis. Ryan and Claire have built a wonderful and loving home for their four children. Lucie, nearly 8, is a gentle soul who loves animals, art and reading. Nolan, 4, is a huge hockey fan and has the kindest heart. Harper, 2.5, is the happiest child one could meet and loves Elmo and her siblings. Little Wren is 4 months old and never stops smiling.
Unfortunately, in spite of the love and joy this family exudes, they have had struggles that many of us cannot imagine. When Harper was just 7 days old she had a terrible seizure that has left her with significant brain damage. She is an amazingly strong little girl and is making strides every day. No-one knew what the future would bring for this superhero but she is starting to speak, can crawl, clap and is always making everyone laugh. Harper has to work hard everyday to learn new things and overcome her struggles. She sees a physiotherapist twice a week and has many specialist appointments at Children's Hospital and will for many years to come.
Lucie was so strong through all of the health concerns that Harper faced and takes amazing care of all of her younger siblings. Sadly, she is now the one who needs extra care and is showing everyone that she's as tough as her sister. Lucie was having joint pain and fatigue over Christmas and has now been diagnosed with leukemia. Everyone in her family is reeling at this devastating news and is holding eachother up as they find out how to start managing all of the changes that this diagnosis brings.
Ryan and Claire are some of the kindest and strongest people you could meet and have many people who love and support them. They will however be facing some significant financial challenges as Lucie gets the care she needs.
The Road to Recovery
Sweet little Lucie is going to require chemotherapy and many other treatments at Children's Hospital in Vancouver for the next 4-6 months. The family will likely not be unable to stay together for a significant portion of this time as Ryan will need to continue working in Williams Lake. For the next 2.5 years Lucie will be undergoing chemotherapy and be required to go back and forth from Williams Lake to Children's Hospital.
During this time, Harper is also going to continue to need to see her physiotherapist on a regular basis, require some specialized medical equipment and has many specialist appointments.
The Bertoli family are going to be facing a long, uphill battle with Lucie's illness. They are going to need help covering costs for medications, childcare, being unable to work while at the hospital, living costs in Vancouver and traveling back and forth from Williams Lake. Harper's condition also requires many trips to Children's Hospital throughout the year and medical equipment that is not always covered through medical.
How You Can Help
Lucie and her family need all of our love and support as well as relief from the significant financial burden that they are facing. Please send your love for Lucie through a donation and by sharing this post to help this wonderful family get through this difficult time.
For those of you who know Claire or Ryan personally, you can send an etransfer to [email redacted], as GoFundMe does take an administrative fee for all donations.
Claire has also started a Facebook page for those who would like updates on how Lucie is doing. You can find this at Love for Lucie.