West Kelowna  

West Kelowna grandmother broken hearted she won't be there for Henry

Travel ban stops celebration

A West Kelowna woman's heart is breaking for her young grandson who has been battling leukemia for almost three years now.

Henry Debowski was diagnosed with leukemia and has been battling the disease at Vancouver's Children's Hospital since the spring of 2019.

Now with just one chemotherapy treatment left to go, friends and family were looking forward to being there when little Henry "rings the bell," meaning he is cancer free.

"The date is set for May 20. Now we can't go because of the road [travel] ban," said Corie McLean, his grandmother and one of his primary caregivers.

She said she is devastated that she and Henry's grandfather won't be there for the ceremony, to show Henry they love and support him.

"It's not right. We've missed three birthdays at this point because of his illness and COVID-19 and now we can't even be there when he comes out the door."

McLean says even though Henry is only 11-years-old, his life has been difficult.

"He's had multiple back surgeries. His mother Bristol is also struggling with health issues of her own. All we want to do is get there and be there when he comes out. This little boy needs some kind of support."

McLean says they had planned to drive to Vancouver until the non-essential travel ban was brought in.

She understands that COVID-19 is serious, but the thought of not being there for her grandson after his successful three-year battle with cancer is too much to bear.

"I'm feeling super frustrated. When did cancer become less important than covid?"

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