A time to think of those in need

Joan Butler
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Brett and Crystal Vey’s annual Christmas concert in aid of a community charity was devoted to a more personal cause this year — a 16-month-old boy who needs a bone marrow transplant.

For the past 10 years, the owners of the MusicBox, a Kelligrews music school, have donated the proceeds of their annual Christmas event to the Conception Bay South food bank.

However, this year, they felt that they would help their friends Curtis and Melissa Slade and raise money for the Slade’s son Jaxson, who has leukemia and has to travel to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children for a bone marrow transplant.

Jaxson was born with four holes in his heart. Then his family discovered he has acute myeloid leukemia.

He is currently undergoing treatment at the Janeway before the transplant scheduled for the end of January. Jaxson's Toronto hospital stay is expected to last for at least six to eight weeks.

The MusicBox’s event is just one of the various local fundraising efforts for the young family’s expenses while they stay with their child during the treatment to fight his leukemia.

The MusicBox’s annual “Evening of Christmas and Skits” was held Dec. 3 at the Kelligrews Kiwanis Club and this year the many performers were delighted to perform to help Jaxson and his family, which also includes a three-year-old brother.  

The event featured a variety of music, skits and jokes performed by local talent — some students of the MusicBox — as well as the professionals. And of course no Christmas event is complete without a visit from Santa, who delighted young and old.

Fred Vey was the host for this family-oriented event, which also included performances by the Christmas Band, which includes Brett Vey, Lucas Dwyer, Colin Perry, Andrew Pike, Crystal Vey and Christine Young.

The MusicBox’s musical theatre group — Emma Bastow, Cady Cumby and Noelle Kavanagh — also performed, and the event featured the talent of Beth Sparkes Dawe, Jordan Coaker, Rosanne Dunn, Corey Reynolds, Samantha Rideout and Jack Vey.  

To help the MusicBox raise money for the Slades, several local businesses and individuals donated goods and services for ticket prizes during the event. Winners went home with jewelry from Unique Designs, a Christmas centrepiece donated by Cavell Vey, gift certificate from Pronto Pizza, a $200 gift card from Rona and music lessons from The MusicBox.

The MusicBox is still accepting donations for Jaxson and his family. Anyone wishing to assist with the family’s expenses can call Brett

or Crystal at 744-2080, or visit their website www.musicboxstudio.com for further information.

Stories like this one about Jaxson are reminders that Christmas is not always picture perfect for some families and individuals. Like the Slade family, who have a sick child and are worrying about travelling to Toronto, there are others in similar or worse circumstances. So, Christmas can be a difficult and emotional time.

It will certainly be a difficult Christmas for the family of young Riley Mercer, the 15-year-old C.B.S boy who died last week from a rare cancer that also took the life of his sister when she was nine.

Riley’s story brought the community and perhaps the whole province together.

Losing a child or loved one at any time of the year is tragic, but to lose one at this time of year is more trying because Christmas is supposed to be a time to celebrate and be with family and friends.

As you prepare for Christmas, remember those dealing with illness and loss, and those who may need a friend or visit during the upcoming holiday season.


Joan Butler is a lifelong resident

of Kelligrews, Conception Bay South.

She can be reached by email

at joanbutler@ymail.com.

Organizations: Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto hospital, Kelligrews Kiwanis Club Christmas Band Unique Designs

Geographic location: Conception Bay, Toronto, Kelligrews

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