Houston’s Laecy Bodnar takes trip of a lifetime

Sunshine Foundation sponsors trip to Disneyland

On the far right is Houston’s Laecy Olson who participated in a daylong trip to Disneyland Dec. 11 thanks to the non-profit Sunshine Foundation of Canada. (Photo courtesy Corrina Bodnar)

It was a trip of a lifetime for Houston’s Laecy Olson.

In the predawn hours of Dec. 11, Laecy, who turned 16 on Dec. 8, flew off from Vancouver International Airport via Alaska Airlines for a one-day whirlwind visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Diagnosed at age 11 with myotonic dystrophy, Laecy, along with more than 70 other children and young people living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses, and accompanied by medical staff and volunteers, were the guests of the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, a non-profit offering a variety of services.

Its trip to California, the Dec. 11 one was the 64th Dreamlift hosted by the foundation, featured small-group tours, each accompanied by volunteers under the guidance of a sheriff from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Over the course of the jam-packed day, Laecy and others experienced the sights and sounds of Disneyland.

In advance of the tour, Laecy chose the Jungle Tour and the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted House as must see, but in the end, declared the Pirates of the Caribbean as her favourite.

Following the full day, the group flew back to Vancouver, landing at around midnight to the applause of family and volunteers.

Myotonic dystrophy is a form of muscular dystrophy, described as a long-term genetic disorder that affects muscle function. Symptoms include gradually worsening muscle loss and weakness.

Diagnosed at age 11, Laecy has been a regular visitor to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver since 2014.

“One of the physiotherapists during her last visit is a volunteer for the Sunshine Foundation Dreamlift, which does this trip every five years. She asked if we would like an application,” explained mom Corrina Bodnar.

”Being that this would be the last time Laecy would be eligible (age wise), they were going to try to put her at the top of the list,” she said.

Laecy’s visits to B.C. Children’s Hospital are such that her neurologist and pediatrician coordinate clinics that allow children to visit all specialists at the same time, rather than separate visits, Corrina adds.

That involves appointments with cardiologists, neurologists, physio therapists and endocrinologists.

“The great thing is that the specialists from many departments in Vancouver make regular trips and appointments in the North, too. So Terrace and Prince George offices help with travel for us Northerners,” Corrina continued.

At home in Houston, Laecy attends physio two times a week as well as regular exercise at home or at the pool.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Thanks to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, Laecy Olson of Houston experienced a whirlwind daylong trip Dec. 11 from Vancouver to Disneyland. That’s her, standing in the middle at front with her arms crossed. (Photo courtesy Corrina Bodnar)

That’s Laecy Olson of Houston, taking a moment to relax during a one-day trip to Disneyland Dec. 11 thanks to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. (Photo courtesy Corrina Bodnar)

Just Posted

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Houston heads to Burns Lake for hockey

Burns Lake hosted a initiation one day hockey tournament on Jan. 18.… Continue reading

Home sales increase in Houston

Sale prices also increase in the communities

Council to push for high school driver education

Says it will aid in finding employment

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read