Nine-year-old Conner Lechocki could hardly wait for his big day.
“I couldn’t even sleep last night, because I was so excited,” he said.
For one morning, Lechocki, who lives with cystic fibrosis, got to spend his time outside of a hospital and inside a toy store.
Lechocki took part in a shopping spree at the Toys “R” Us location on Pembina Highway Tuesday where, for three minutes, he dashed through the aisles and picked up as many toys as he could get his hands on.
He’s lived with cystic fibrosis since he was diagnosed a week before his first birthday. It is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults and destroys the lungs, leading to the loss of lung function.
One in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis and there is no cure.
The three-minute dash is an annual event done by Toys “R” Us in partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Canada which gives children with a serious illness a chance to spend time away from the hospital.
With the help of his family, Lechocki wasted no time, picking up nine carts of toys, including a PS4, an iHome speaker and several scooters which he was most excited about.
“I had one before, but it broke, so I haven’t been able to ride lately,” Lechocki said.
His parents were thrilled to watch their son in action, especially after all the challenges he’s been through, including nine surgeries and multiple hospital stays since his diagnosis.
“It’s been quite hectic for him to have to grow up in that environment,” said his mom Kendra. “Seeing him so happy just makes everything worth the tiredness of doing this.”
Not a bad early birthday present – Conner turns 10 on Aug. 7.