Mission mother raises money for sick toddler

A kids swap fundraiser happens June 16 at Parkside church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A Mission mother is trying to raise money to help a little girl with cancer.

Self-employed hairdresser Mandi Bleasdale was perusing the Mission kids swap website when she came across a woman selling hats to raise money for an operation.

Curious, Bleasdale clicked a link that told the full story about the Squamish family.

Kati Palethorpe’s 18-month-old daughter Lina is diagnosed with neuroblastoma spinal cancer and will soon have the tumour removed.

“I have a son the same age so her story really touched me,” says Bleasdale, whose son Miles has met little Lina.

When Bleasdale read about the little girl’s plight she contacted Kati to see if she could help. At BC Children’s Hospital, where Lina has already completed eight rounds of chemotherapy, she found the toddler rambunctious and full of energy.

“Lina’s so cute, you can’t even tell she’s sick. She’s such a trooper,” she said.

Lina’s parents, however, have had to harness every dime to put towards her medical care, including remortgaging their home and running fundraisers.

Bleasdale already held a silent auction through her hairdressing service to raise $200, but she knows that isn’t enough with an operation for Lina looming in Toronto on June 18.

The Palethorpe family had been recommended an operation in New York, but the surgery was expected to cost half a million dollars. Although public health care will cover the costs of the operation in Toronto, the family’s finances are tight.

To help out, Bleasdale is holding a kids swap fundraiser here June 16, at Parkside church (33837 Prentis Ave.) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds from the table rentals, concession, silent auction and admission will go directly to Lina.

Although Bleasdale said it’s hard for any one person to make a difference, they have managed to spread the word on social media websites like Facebook. The farther word is spread, the more people can help.

To learn more about little Lina, visit www.teamlina.com or search for “swap for Lina” on Facebook.