An eight-year-old girl from Beaumont, Alta., celebrated an early Christmas this year as she continues her treatment for terminal brain cancer.
Janaya Chekowski-McKenzie, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in February, arrived to the festivities at Beaumont Curling Club on Sunday in a limousine, helping the young girl achieve one of her bucket list items: to become “world famous.”
Much of the day was a surprise, including meeting characters from Disney’s Frozen, sitting down to a Christmas dinner with her family and opening gifts. Janaya was set to take a limousine tour so she could see the Christmas lights put up by area residents.
“She’s lost in La La Land right now,” said her mother, Amanda Chekowski. “It’s happiness. She’s been excited for this all morning. You know, ‘When’s Christmas? When is the event? When is the event? When are we going?'”
Organizers hope to raise $10,000 from the festivities to go toward Janaya’s ongoing experimental treatment as well as to pay for the remaining items on her bucket list.
“I just hope that she sees that the whole community is standing behind whatever it is that she’s fighting and how many people love her and are in support of making sure that she gets to celebrate Christmas on Oct. 21,” said Angela Pauls, who helped set up the event.
In addition to various fundraisers, the family is also raising money through a GoFundMe page.