Edmonton boy hopes his monster drawings will help fight friends’ cancer 'monster'
Published Monday, November 18, 2013 10:16AM EST
Four-year-old Max calls cancer "a monster." That's why the Edmonton boy is using his own monster drawings to try to help a local mother and daughter, who are both battling cancer at the same time.
For the last few weeks, Max has been scribbling drawings like mad to try to help Amber MacNeil, who has been battling a brain tumour for the last two years.
She was diagnosed in May 2011, and has undergone several surgeries to try to slow its growth. In May of this year, Amber was told the tumour located on her pineal gland in the centre of the brain had grown again. She underwent radiation, which wrapped up in October.
Then two weeks ago, Amber and her family learned that her daughter, Kyla, has leukemia. She's now undergoing chemotherapy herself.
“It was just extremely overwhelming,” Amber MacNeil told CTV Edmonton Sunday night, speaking from the family home. “The first few days were extremely hard. I think it was harder than when I was diagnosed with my stuff.”
When Max heard about the family's troubles, he decided he would pull out his markers and try to help Amber and Kyla battle their monsters.
With the help of his mom, Julie Rohr, Max created several monster portraits to sell online, hoping others will "buy a monster to fight a monster," as their website reads.
Some of the monsters that Max draws are angry, but his mother writes on the website that that's how she and Max feel when they hear about cancer attacking their friends.
All of Max's original drawings on canvas have sold out, so the website is selling prints and fridge magnets. Kyla's older sister, Kinley, has also joined in, adding some feminine flair to her own drawings of monsters.
While the items cost between $10 and $20, buyers are told they can donate as much as they'd like. Fifty per cent of the proceeds will go directly to the MacNeil family, while the other 50 per cent is donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.
So far, more than $2,600 has been raised.
“It's a lot of work, actually. To fill all these orders is going to be a big task, but I'm really proud of him,” Julie Rohr says of her son Max.
Amber MacNeil says when she heard was Max was doing, she was left speechless.
“It's just… there's not even words. 'Thank you' just seems too small," she says with a smile.
MacNeil adds she and her family are taking their journey through illness one step at a time, "just trusting that somehow we are going to get through this.”
With a report from CTV Edmonton's Sarah Richter