An Edmonton family whose four-year-old is battling leukemia was surprised and shocked when they were gifted a vehicle by the community, a move that will help them as they continue to make trips for the little boy’s medical treatments.
Tristan Castor was diagnosed with leukemia at 11 months old; he has been in and out of hospitals ever since. Later this month, he will be going to Calgary for a bone marrow transplant and will need to be monitored for three months.
On Saturday, Ryan Byers, who heard about Tristan’s story through social media, gave the family a used Nissan Pathfinder, which will be repaired and serviced for free by Grove Auto Pro and Tire.
Pamela Johnson, Tristan’s mother, said the family was told there was a surprise for them at the auto body shop but she had no idea the magnitude of what was going to happen. Johnson teared up as the family went to look at their new vehicle.
“I was extremely emotional,” she said.
“It’s like the greatest thing they could have ever done for us.”
Rob Castor, Tristan’s father, said one of the family’s vehicle was just in an accident and will be out of commission for a month and their other vehicle is having engine trouble.
“It’s going to give us a safe means to get Tristan to Calgary and for Pam to drive around the city,” he said.
“It’s a huge help for us. We couldn’t have done it without this new vehicle.”
Johnson said Tristan’s medical battle has been tough financially and members of the community have been coming together to help the family of eight out.
“We weren’t expecting it at all. It feels like a lot came off our shoulders,” she said.
“Now there’s more passenger room. We can actually all go together, not drive two vehicles.”
Byers said Tristan’s story caught his attention last fall.
“Anytime you see a kid that’s going through some hardship and stuff like that, it hits you,” he said.
“I’m glad to see that they like it and hopes it helps them out.”