A nine-year-old Red Deer boy who watched his mother’s life-threatening cancer battle came up with a plan to help.
Reid Parsons “woke up on Tuesday morning and said, ‘I want to raise money for cancer research,’” said his mother, Tanya Parsons.
The former nurse, who’s recovering from lymphoma, admitted she was “blown away” by her son’s announcement. “I always knew he had an amazing heart, but this is so special…”
Older brother Noah, 13, is promoting Reid’s fundraiser. “I’m proud of what he’s doing and I wanted to get the word out,” explained the Westpark Middle School student, who contacted the Advocate.
Social media posts have been circulating among friends and relatives — who have been e-transferring donations to his fundraiser. Reid’s dad, Brian Parsons, has also been promoting the cause at his work at Dow Chemicals.
And now people have been calling to say they have empties to contribute to Reid’s planned bottle drive, said Tanya.
All of this support helped Reid reach his goal of $1,000 within 36 hours.
By the end of Friday, he was up to $1,400. And now the Grade-4 Mattie McCullough Elementary student is aiming to collect $2,000 or more for a non-profit dedicated to cancer research.
“He’s leaning towards a lymphoma charity”, said Tanya, is overwhelmed by the public response.
“The power of his kindness and his good heart has really touched people, who really care about what our family has been going through,” she added.
Last March, Tanya discovered her feelings of “general unwellness,” including pressure on her chest, was actually caused by a form of lymphoma.
The former nurse, who has been a stay-at-home mom since her kids were born, was next shocked to discover how long waiting lists are for chemotherapy programs in Alberta.
She finally got her first treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary in May —- only after having to be rushed in because her condition was becoming life-threatening.
“It was a real eye-opener. I was having to be my own advocate,” she said.
Reid admitted it was hard for him to watch his Mom’s health going downhill last spring. “I just wanted to help my mom and everyone else I can who had chemotherapy…”
Tanya said she’s thankful to now be on the road to recovery.
Anyone who wants to donate to the cause can e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.