GINTA – Let’s be the village that gathers around Riel and his family

(Image: GoFundMe)

IT’S PAST 5 P.M. ON SATURDAY and the ambulance that has been parked in front of the Superstore for the entire day collecting food and toy donations has yet to leave. A few more people trickle out and add to the pile.

I am one of them. I thank the paramedics for the vital role they have in our community, and once again, for being there when our family needed them. I don’t get to see how much they’ve collected because once I throw a peek inside, I am reminded of the time when my youngest, seven at the time, was being taken to the hospital.

His little body was struggling to breathe due to a particularly severe asthma attack and I was sitting next to him, holding his hand and hiding tears behind a smile because that’s what you do for your child even when you are broken inside.

That’s a story that Frank and Bonnie Lepine Antoine know too well. Their son Riel just turned two this month and has been in hospitals since he was seven months old when he was diagnosed with High Grade Infant Glioma brain cancer. It’s the rarest form of cancer, his parents were told. In fact, he might be the only child in the world fighting this.


Daniela Ginta is a mother, scientist, writer and blogger. She can be reached at, or through her blog at

About Mel Rothenburger (8896 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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