Bottle drives in Sooke and Langford later this month will aim to pour some friendly competition into the two communities, but will also see them come together to support a local woman facing a recent leukemia diagnosis.
Sooke’s Shae Hamilton is known across West Shore performance-art groups for her personal flair and charismatic confidence. The 22-year-old’s life changed suddenly last month when she was diagnosed with leukemia and she is now being treated at a Vancouver hospital.
With months of treatment ahead of her, local groups have been raising money to support Hamilton’s family, so that her mother can stay with her in Vancouver and her father can visit on weekends.
The community support continues on March 27 with bottles drives at the Langford Walmart parking lot, from 8 a.m. to noon, and at Dumont Tirecraft and Auto Centre in Sooke, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Glendora Scarfone, a family friend who’s helping to organize the bottle drives, said it could cost the Hamiltons upwards of $3,000 a month to stay with Shae, due to the specific accommodation needs she has while undergoing treatment.
There isn’t a firm goal, but Scarfone hopes the bottle drives will raise about $5,000 for the family. The support for the family has already transcended B.C.’s borders as well. Scarfone said another family friend, Alena Christensen, lives in Alberta and recently raised $2,000 for the family through a bottle drive there.
The organizer hopes the long-established community rivalry between the West Shore and Sooke will get lots of people to participate, and therefore get more help for the family.
“I just thought maybe I could play up on that and get people motivated to support,” Scarfone said. “That was my idea, to just get as much support for (the Hamilton family) as we possibly could.”
Community organizing for the family is also taking place on local Facebook groups.
“The community outpouring has been fabulous,” Scarfone said. “It’s a small community and even if people don’t know each other specifically, we just rally around and support each other.”
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