Paige and Andrea Purcell donated $6

Building on a lasting friendship in Nelson

It’s a heartwarming tale of friends helping Friends.

It’s a heartwarming tale of friends helping Friends.

Earlier this week, 3.5-year-old Paige Purcell and her mom Andrea attended the monthly Friends of the Family board meeting with the mission of delivering a huge “thank you” to the local organization that helps families dealing with costly illness. In her little hand was a cheque for $6,992, the results of a highly successful Facebook auction her mom held earlier this summer.

“We wanted to help give back to the fund,” said Andrea. “And I wanted something relatively simple and easy for me.”

In 2012, the Purcell family received financial help from Friends of the Family when Paige developed a brain tumour that required visits to the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver to be removed. The massive tumour grew on little Paige’s cerebellum, pushing on her brain stem.

With her daughter’s health now stabilized, a few months back Andrea organized a huge auction on Facebook that included more than 100 items. Andrea collected items from an array of local businesses and people bid on them, in many cases offering more than the items were actually worth.

“What was amazing is that it was really just one person,” said Friends of the Family chairperson Pat Dooley. “She has given back many more times than what we provided the family.”

Auctions on Facebook are nothing new, but Andrea Purcell had never taken on such a project. She was pleased with the outcome that exceeded her expectations.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “But through this entire thing, I have a whole lot of understanding about many things.”

Dooley said an added bonus to the financial donation is how many people took part in the bidding.

“In addition to the money, the important part of this is the awareness it brought,” said Dooley. “More people now know how we help people.”

Paige’s treatment will continue until she is eight. It will include going to Vancouver twice a year for an MRI.

For more information on Friends of the Family check out their website at nelsonfriendsofthefamily.com.