Lia Weekes’ son Joshua is in BC Children’s Hospital finishing a third round of chemotherapy for an aggressive form of leukemia. Without a bone marrow transplant, he’ll likely die.
Josh’s family has been fighting hard to get the word out in the hopes of finding a donor, and now they’re afraid someone has taken advantage of their situation.
“On May 7th, my husband’s cousin and her mom were grocery shopping in Coquitlam at the Superstore, and they came across a table set up with Joshua’s face plastered on posters…asking for money.”
Weekes says she went to the store to talk to the woman at the table, who claimed her name was Kathleen.
“First she explained that she was with Canadian Blood Services. When we asked her for her own identification, she couldn’t produce any to verify that she was with Canadian Blood Services and then all of a sudden her story changed,” she said.
“There were many inconsistencies in her story.”
WATCH: Boy with leukemia desperately needs bone marrow donor
Canadian Blood Services confirmed the woman does not work or volunteer for them.
“We do not solicit funds from any individuals,” David Patterson of Canadian Blood Services said. “You will never see an authorized person from Canadian Blood Services at a mall soliciting funds, outside a grocery store. You won’t see that.”
“Kathleen” did send Weekes $850 via email transfer and told her she’d only ever been at one store. But Weekes says that doesn’t appear to be true.
“Now we know of at least four occasions — including the one where we spoke to her — that this lady was outside soliciting funds at various major grocery stores.”
Coquitlam RCMP have now opened a file. Weekes says she hopes the public will still donate their bone marrow to find a match for Joshua.
“I hope that something can be done so that this doesn’t happen again because no one should have to go through this and the public should not have to be wary about wanting to help and about wanting to care.”
Those interested in learning more about the donation process can visit blood长沙夜网.
– With files from Randene Neill