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‘It was a really beautiful thing’: N.S. coffee shop raises thousands for boy battling cancer

Jude has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Nasopharynx, a rare form of head and neck cancer.
Jude has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Nasopharynx, a rare form of head and neck cancer. Submitted: Ashley MacDonald

The community of Lower Sackville, N.S., converged on a popular local coffee shop Sunday in support of a three-year-old boy battling cancer.

Apartment 3 Espresso Bar on Sackville Drive held a “Lattes for Love” fundraiser, with half of its proceeds from every latte going to the family of Jude Angus.

READ MORE: Lattes for Love: Lower Sackville coffee shop to hold fundraiser for boy battling cancer

Alex Stephen, who co-owns the coffee shop with his wife Heather, says there was an endless line throughout the day, but it was all worth it.

“To see the amount of people that took time out of their day to stand in line for a long time, to be able to show their support for Jude and his family, it was just so wonderful,” Stephen said.

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“It was a really beautiful thing.”

Jude has been diagnosed Rhabdomyosarcoma of the Nasopharynx, a rare form of head and neck cancer. Since his family has been taking additional time away from work to be with him at the hospital, money’s been tight.

Alex and Heather Stephen, the co-owners of Apartment 3 Espresso Bar in Lower Sackville, N.S., pose for a photo with three-year-old Jude Angus after handing a cheque of over $5,500 to his family.
Alex and Heather Stephen, the co-owners of Apartment 3 Espresso Bar in Lower Sackville, N.S., pose for a photo with three-year-old Jude Angus after handing a cheque of over $5,500 to his family. Ashley MacDonald
Three-year-old Jude Angus is battling a rare type of head and neck cancer.
Three-year-old Jude Angus is battling a rare type of head and neck cancer. Submitted
Jude was declared cancer-free in May but recently relapsed.
Jude was declared cancer-free in May but recently relapsed. Submitted: Ashley MacDonald

The coffee shop raised over $5,600 in just six hours to help take some of the financial strain away.

12-year-old Fundraiser colours his hair to help mom conquer cancer
12-year-old Fundraiser colours his hair to help mom conquer cancer

“It was way beyond our expectation,” Stephen expressed. “When Heather and I decided we should do something, let’s do this event, we were just hoping that people would come.”

“It really blew our minds.”

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Alex and Stephen met with Jude’s mother Ashley MacDonald Monday morning, where they presented her with a cheque.

READ MORE: Sisters shave heads at Hudson cancer fundraiser in honour of friend

MacDonald says even though the past week has been filled with emotions, she can really feel the love and support from the community.

“I’m in tears just thinking about. The photos, videos and updates that we were sent throughout the day had us grinning from ear to ear,” MacDonald said. “It feels good knowing we can rely on our community.

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“At a time when so many bad things are happening around us, it’s beautiful to see people coming together. We feel blessed.”

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She says the money will help them pay rent, bills, and for gas to get back and forth from the hospital.

“Knowing that we don’t have to worry about money at this time takes so much weight off of our shoulders,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Do what is important to you’: Teacher writes own obituary before dying of cancer

The coffee shop will still offer a “Love Jar” at the bar, where the community can continue to donate to the family in the days and weeks to come.

“(Jude’s) so cute, he came over and gave us hugs. He’s on his way to go pick pumpkins now,” Stephen said. “He seemed to be in good spirits and feeling good today.”