Lilia Wiebe (Contributed to Black Press Media)

Lilia Wiebe (Contributed to Black Press Media)

Wish to build Lilia, 3, as normal a life as possible includes dream playhouse

Eric, Kaitlyn and Lilia Wiebe, from Enderby, share their story for Grant A Wish Day

Rainbows bring the promise of sunnier times ahead, and little Lilia Wiebe will soon have a perfect place to keep one of her very own.

In the spring of 2019, then-two-year-old Lilia Wiebe had not been sleeping well in her home in Enderby, B.C., and she seemed to be feeling under the weather.

A few weeks later, in the month of May, not only was she still not feeling well, she didn’t even have the energy to walk anymore.

Eric and Kaitlyn Wiebe—Lilia’s parents—had already taken her to the doctor, but now they knew something was really not well with their daughter. A trip to the Shuswap Lake emergency room and blood test later, it was confirmed that this was no ordinary bug that Lilia was carrying in her young body.

Want to help grant wishes for children like Lilia? Join Black Press Media and BraveFace by clicking here.

She was given an emergency blood transfusion and was immediately airlifted to Vancouver, where further tests confirmed a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

“We were in hospital, then, for 10 straight days,” recalled Eric Wiebe in a recent phone interview, as Lilia received her initial treatments that began her battle against the cancer.

The next two months were spent in Vancouver, with the Wiebes taking up residence at Ronald McDonald House, attached to B.C. Children’s Hospital. Lilia received intravenous chemotherapy at B.C. Children’s hospital once a week, and a daily dose of oral chemo and medication.

Treatments and a need to be in Vancouver continued for months. Eric had to continue his work in the construction industry back in Salmon Arm, and Kaitlyn had to give up the part time work she was doing, to be with Lilia on her treatment journey. Though they are now back in Enderby, there is still a lot of travel back to the coast for appointments and treatments every few months.

“Along the way, when we couldn’t always be together, we had support from our community,” said Eric. Friends and residents in Salmon Arm donated money to help cover lost wages, and “someone even donated flight tickets to us, to allow me to fly to Vancouver to be at the hospital.”

(Contributed to Black Press Media)

(Contributed to Black Press Media)

Lilia is still taking oral chemotherapy and medications in addition to the regular trips to Vancouver. Eric said that with only three more visits to Vancouver needed in the coming year, family is doing their best right now just to build as normal a life as possible for Lilia as she goes through her cancer battle.

And they’re also building something else, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Somewhere along the line of treatment appointments, Lilia’s her doctors informed that she would qualify for a wish.

“It took a bit of explaining to Lilia that she was going to be able to wish for pretty much whatever she wanted,” said Eric, but once she understood the concept, there was no stopping her.

(Contributed to Black Press Media)

(Contributed to Black Press Media)

“We must have walked through probably a dozen different ideas that she had”. From all the ideas that a three-year-old can have, a playhouse wish was born. Part of the Wiebe’s basement is being transformed into Lilia’s wish, but due to COVID-19 restrictions and the ability of workers to come and go freely the job is taking some time. Lilia doesn’t seem to mind the work in progress.

“She’s really enthused with it; she’s ready,” said Eric, who said she talks a lot about what she’ll do in the playhouse once her wish is fully built.

Lilia plans to make it a home for her dolls and stuffed animals, complete with a bedroom setup for them, and her play kitchen. Also of note: she really hopes there will be a rainbow somewhere in her playhouse, a nice reminder, perhaps, that after a storm the sunshine always comes back eventually.

Critically ill kids put on a Brave Face every day. Now you can, too, in support of Make-A-Wish.

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions, and we invite you to join us in helping children’s wishes come true. Click here to buy your masks today!

By purchasing a pack of three masks designed and manufactured right here in British Columbia for children, youth and adults, you’ll be supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Make-A-Wish

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

Just Posted

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Angelique Houlihan gets her COVID-19 vaccine jab last week at the community-wide clinic. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
Vaccine clinic continues this week

Plenty of booking spots available

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read