Six-year-old Kamloops boy with cancer raises $12,000 for Terry Fox run | Kamloops News | iNFOnews

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Six-year-old Kamloops boy with cancer raises $12,000 for Terry Fox run

Cai McLean has raised money for cancer research before, but this year his iced tea stand has brought in thousands in donations.
September 22, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Cai McLean and his family fundraise for the Terry Fox Run every year, but this time was different.

Yesterday, Sept. 20, was the last day for the Terry Fox iced tea stand the six-year-old had set up and it was an overwhelming success.     

"The second I stepped outside the door, the streets were already filled," Cai said happily.

The stand raised just over $3,700 for the Terry Fox run, and $3,000 of that came in on Sunday alone.

"I just want to emphasize how much it's meant, cause we never expected this," Cai's mother Amie McLean said.

"We just thought we'd have a little iced tea stand. It's been wonderful."

Terry Fox is a personal hero for Cai, who was diagnosed with spinal cancer when he was 11 months old. His battle with the disease is ongoing and he undergoes daily chemotherapy treatments to stop the tumour from growing. Cai's father Brett also battled cancer, and underwent surgery to have a tumour removed.  

The McLeans have done fundraising for the Terry Fox run in previous years, but this is the first year they've gotten such widespread support and media attention.

The original fundraising goal was $600. The total funds raised through online donations and the iced tea stand is currently just over $12,000. The family is incredibly grateful for all donations, both big and small.

"Especially at this time, I know there’s so much upheaval and so many people have lost their jobs," McLean said.

"Individual community members who were scraping through their ashtrays to try and just find something to donate and bring a smile to Cai's face, that means just as much."

She said that the experience this year was also an opportunity for Cai to connect with others who could relate to his own experiences with cancer.

"He's been able to talk openly about his journey, and also to connect with other members of the community who are going through their own journeys with cancer as well," McLean said.

"I think it's really helped him not feel so alone."

The family plans to be back fundraising again next September.

If you missed the iced tea stand, you can still donate online to the Team Cai Terry Fox fundraiser, click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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