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

Caroline Lafond is a Recreation Fish and Wildlife student at Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted
Ecological Comment: Help keep the goats of Gimli wild

A column written by Recreation Fish and Wildlife students at Selkirk College

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read