My name is Clara. I am six. I have cancer. Leukemia.
That is what Clara Howorth told a group of people who showed up at the Albion Fairgrounds, despite the rain, to walk in support of kids.
The Wishmaker Walk for Wishes, put on by the Children’s Wish Foundation, started with a five-kilometre walk and was then followed by a celebration at 1 p.m.
Dilly the Clown of Click & Clown led the walk pulling Clara in his circus wagon.
After the walk Clara’s mom, Andrea Howorth, told the crowd how grateful she and her husband Nick are for all the support they have received since they learned their daughter has cancer.
Andrea teared up when she explained how her old friend and classmate Brad Downey, whom she had just connected with on Facebook, had come out to support the walk.
“I came with my whole family. My wife is a teacher and one of her students was just diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Downey.
“This is a wonderful cause, we are here to support the community, and to support an old friend,” he said.
Clara had no symptoms before being taken to hospital in February with flu-like symptoms. Five days later the results came back from a bone marrow biopsy and Clara’s diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
They are now at the beginning of a two-and-a-half-year program, with doctors following up with Clara until she’s 18 years old.
“A few weeks after we learned Clara had leukemia, we were informed that Clara will be granted a wish. I cried when they called me and asked what her wish would be. Clara has told us that she wants to go to Disney Hawaii and swim with the dolphins,” said Andrea.
And she will, thanks to the Children’s Wish Foundation and events like Wishmaker Walk for Wishes.
This year’s event raised $11,370.
“We really enjoyed the day despite the rainy weather. It was a very positive experience for all of us,” said Andrea.
“All the performers, volunteers and walkers were so friendly and helpful. It meant so much to us that they were there to help raise money to grant a special wish for children like Clara,” she said.
The foundation expects to grant 1,000 new wishes this year, each one an adventure structured to meet the needs of each individual child and family.
The Albion walk was one of four that took place across the province.
For more information about the Children’s Wish Foundation, is available at www.wishmaker.ca.
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