Eleven-year-old Darcy McRae is hoping to “give back a little bit” after he and his family had the opportunity to visit France for a week thanks to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
The Bridlewood boy, a cancer survivor, is looking to pay it forward by raising money to grant another child’s wish.
“I started (fundraising) after the whole brain tumour thing,” said Darcy, who attends W.O. Mitchell Elementary School.
The Grade 6 student is matter of fact discussing his battle with cancer.
Darcy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010, when he was eight years old. His flu-like symptoms, vomiting and severe headaches were chalked up to illness until a visit to the eye doctor.
“They looked in my eyes and said ‘You have to get to CHEO,’” said Darcy. “They ran a whole whack of tests. The next day, I had surgery.”
Seventeen hours of surgery later, a non-cancerous tumor “the size of a golf ball” was removed from his brain. That was followed by two months of radiation.
“There’s some still in there … so it’s like if you cut a golf ball in half,” he said.
Last summer, Darcy travelled to Paris with his family, courtesy of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
“My brother went to Paris the year before. It sounded like fun and it was,” said Darcy.
The McRaes had the chance to visit the Louvre, a carnival and Aquarium de Paris, took a river cruise and climbed the Eiffel Tower.
“It’s actually a really amazing structure,” said Darcy. “We climbed the stairs. It was fun.”
Woodroffe Avenue Public School donated money to Darcy and his family for his trip to Paris. “I was the wish kid.”
Darcy wants to raise funds to grant another child his or her wish.
He raised $500 going door-to-door in his neighbourhood the first year for the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada. The following year, he raised $2,500.
“All the neighbours are extremely supportive,” said Darcy, who plays pee wee hockey with the Kanata Minor Hockey Association, water polo and enjoys hitting the gym.
Now, he’s collecting money for the Children’s Wish Foundation.
“I got the idea to raise money for kids,” said Darcy.
So far, he’s collected around $600 from a craft fair held at his school earlier this year, and on Feb. 5, he hosted a cake raffle and bake sale. He also has plans to hold a badminton tournament to raise more.
“I feel so good now,” said Darcy. “I’ve raised a bunch of money … I hope he has as wonderful a time as I did.”
“It’s a heartwarming story,” said Sheldon, Darcy’s older brother. “He does it all himself. We help him out but it’s all Darcy’s idea.
“It’s completely in character. Darcy is a generous lad.”
To make a donation in Darcy’s name, visit www.childrenswish.ca.