Pointe-Claire swimmers rally around teenage teammate after cancer diagnosis
The annual Red, White and Blue competition put on by the Pointe-Claire Swim Club brings swimmers of all ages into the pool for a fun day of races. But this year at the Cedar Park Pool, one of the club’s best and most competitive swimmers was missing: 12-year-old Zoë Morinville, a star athlete, was diagnosed with leukemia just over a week ago.
Her older sister took the news hard.
“I was devastated. I just didn’t want to go to school anymore. I could not believe it. She’s my little sister, my only sister. It brought me to tears,” Kiara Morinville told Global News.
Zoë’s father Mike Poirier said the diagnosis came as a complete shock.
“She’s a really healthy kid. She’s always wanting to be in shape and watch what she eats. She tries to do everything right,” said Poirier.
After hearing about Zoë’s cancer, the pool decided to dedicate this year’s event to her.
“Right away all the parents of the swimmers said, ‘what can we do to help Zoë and her family? To support hem both for spirit and for fundraising,'” said Pointe-Claire Swim Club coach David Tontini.
Throughout the event, pool staff and volunteers collected donations for cancer research in Zoë’s honour. All the proceeds from selling grilled cheese sandwiches, a bake sale, and a silent auction added up to over $5,000.
The silent auction saw kids put their money together and bid hundreds for the right to push their coaches in the pool, throw a pie in their face, or shave their head.
A rival swim team, the Beaconsfield Bluefins, also collected $475 to donate to the cause.
“It makes me feel really happy and proud that our community is doing something this big for someone. It just makes me feel like everyone cares for each other,” said Kaitlyn Stanojlovic, one of Zoë’s best friends.
For Zoë’s family, the event made a huge difference.
“It makes us feel really good that so many people care about Zoë and want the best for her. It really overwhelms us in a good way. I can’t believe this is all happening,” said Zoë’s father.
“It’s already something so difficult to go through. To have everyone come together, it really helps,” said sister Kiara.
And though Zoë herself couldn’t make it, her father said the outpouring of support was raising her spirits from afar.
“I think Zoë is a little embarrassed by all the attention. Shes not one to usually look for attention like this, but she really feels the love and support and it helps make her feel better,” he said.
Donations are still being accepted at Cedar Park Pool. 22 Robinsdale Ave, Pointe-Claire.
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