Central Alberta is rallying to help a young hockey player recently diagnosed with leukemia.
Michael Arthur, 10, of the Sylvan Lake area, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Jan. 8.
By Jan. 13, more than $5,000 had been raised through youcaring.com, less than a day after his condition was posted.
As of Monday, more than $24,000 had been raised, not including donations made to a trust account set up for Michael and his family at ATB Financial — No. 926-00376516400.
“It’s been amazing the support from the community and the hockey community. People who don’t even know Michael, coming in with $1,000 donations and $100 donations,” said Sarah Brouilette, manager of Michael’s hockey team, the Atom AA Sylvan Lake Lakers.
She said over the weekend, Michael’s team played two Red Deer teams who presented the Lakers with cards of well wishes and one of the teams raised $1,500 from a collection of donations from parents.
She said Michael, who is captain of the Lakers, started experiencing flu-like symptoms over the Christmas holidays.
He began chemotherapy on Jan. 10.
Michael, a Grade 5 student at Steffie Woima Elementary School, will receive four rounds of chemotherapy that will keep him in Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary for six months.
Brouilette said Michael is a natural leader.
“He’s always reliable. He’s always uplifting for the other kids and supportive.”
To show their support and raise money for their captain, his 15 teammates will be shaving their heads or dying their hair orange on Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvan Lake Multiplex.
On March 28, a three-on-three hockey tournament will be held to raise money for the family, with events through the day and evening. Details are still being finalized.
Information on some items already up for auction can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/1375570196075937.
Brouilette said Michael’s parents, Dave and Heather Arthur, have a room at Ronald McDonald House in Calgary and the money raised will help them, and their older son Steven, spend as much time with Michael as possible.
“Both the parents want to be able to support him, be there every day, as much as they can. We want to ease any kind of stress or financial worries.”
The family intends to use any money they don’t need to pay it forward to help others, she said.
For more information, visit www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/fight-like-mike/290393#.