One family’s life was made a little bit easier after receiving a generous donation from the Britannia Wilton Fire Department.
The Jezowskis, who’s son Colby was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic t-cell lymphoma in January, got a cheque for $8,500, funds the fire department raised at its annual firefighter’s ball back in April.
“It’s pretty amazing, it’s definitely a huge help,” said Colby’s mother, Rachel Jezowski.
“It was a very big surprise and everything happened so suddenly with our family, so any amount of help the community has offered us has been tremendously supportive and we really appreciate it; it’s been awesome.”
Rachel said the family is going to save the money and use it to help pay for their mortgage and medical expenses while Colby is getting treatment in Edmonton.
His treatment journey is expected to last three years so the funds will provide a needed boost to help them along their way with things like gas and accommodations.
The family was previously unfamiliar with the firefighter’s ball, though Rachel said she’d heard about it, but they didn’t know what it was all about or where the donations went.
This added to the surprise when she heard Colby would be the recipient of the night’s efforts.
Captain Arron Buckingham said the department was pleased to finally be able to hand out the funds to the Jezowskis and that the choice to donate to Colby was a no brainer.
“This year was very simple for us; we heard the story of eight-year-old Colby Jezowski and his fight with cancer and it was a fight bigger than any fire we’d ever had to fight,” Buckingham said.
“So immediately we thought that this was the perfect thing to do this year and we chose them as the recipients.”
He added that the Lloydminster community was amazing in stepping up with donations at the event, as well as taking part in the silent auction and door prizes that help boost the fundraising.
The event also sold out, so the whole initiative was a huge success this year for the fire department.
“The community stepped up huge for us this year and we can’t thank everybody enough for allowing us to be able to do this for this family,” said buckingham.
The Jezowskis were brought to the fire department’s attention after a few members had personal contact with Colby at the beginning of his journey, and after a bit of discussion it was unanimous that the family get the proceeds of the event.
The family went to the fire hall last week to pick up the cheque where they were treated to a tour of the hall and a ride in one of the fire trucks.
Though Colby is a young man of few words, he wasn’t shy when he was asked what his favourite part of the day was.
“The fire truck ride!”
Rachel said Colby was excited at the idea all day and was bouncing around the house talking about it until they finally went down to the station.
“We gave him a little tour before the cheque presentation and now we’re going to take him for a little ride in the fire truck and cap it all off,” said Buckingham.
“Not everybody gets to do that, so he’s pretty excited about it so we’re going to take hime for a little drive.”