The Valley’s Sammy Dubois, 14, has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, and is going through treatments at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. (Submitted photo)

Bottle drive Saturday to assist sick Cowichan teenager and family

Sammy Dubois, 14, disgnosed with rare neurological disorder

A major bottle drive will be held on Saturday, July 11, to assist the Cowichan Valley’s Sammy Dubois, 14, and his family as they cope with Sammy’s serious medical condition.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise funds.

Sammy fell mysteriously ill on June 28 and was taken by ambulance to Cowichan District Hospital, then was quickly transferred to a hospital in Victoria before being airlifted to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord.

GBS can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to breathe independently.

RELATED STORY: LAKE COWICHAN FAMILY SEEKS HELP FOR DAUGHTER STRUCK WITH RARE DISEASE

Sammy’s aunt Serena Alexander said he is currently about 80 per cent paralyzed but has shown some improvement with the blood recycling processes and plasma transfusions that he is receiving at the hospital.

“It’s expected Sammy has a long road to recovery and that is leaving the family wondering about the future,” she said.

“Sammy’s parents have been with him since he was first admitted to hospital. The hotel they are staying in is covered, but they are not working right now and it’s expected that their house will now have to be modified to prepare for Sammy’s return home.”

Alexander said one bottle drive has already been held, but organizers are planning to have a bigger one on Saturday to raise money to help the family.

“Sammy has said that he’s upset that the fundraiser is going on because he says he thinks other people might need the money more than him,” she said.

“He’s decided that any money left over after the family covers its expenses will go to the B.C. Children’s Hospital. We’re not sure how much we want to raise, so we’ll wait to see how the bottle drive goes.”

RELATED STORY: ‘HERO’ KID FIGHTING CANCER HELPING WITH B.C. CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FUNDRAISER

Anyone who wants to donate bottles or cans should drop them off at the Duncan Community Lodge, which is the old Moose Lodge, on July 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you have no means to drop off your donations, you can call 250-709-4704 or 250-246-0362 for pick up.

The GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/help-14yr-old-sammy-fight-guillain-barre-syndrome?utm_source=facebook

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