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2 local stem cell recipients give back during Regina Pats game

Stem cell recipients from Regina Lincoln Honoway, 7, and Vonn Choneyko, 10, had $750 donations made to Canadian Blood Services in their names.
Stem cell recipients from Regina Lincoln Honoway, 7, and Vonn Choneyko, 10, had $750 donations made to Canadian Blood Services in their names. Provided / Canada Life

After receiving stem cell transplants of their own, two Canadian Blood Services recipients jumped at the opportunity to give back during the Regina Pats game on Sunday.

Canada Life invited Lincoln Honoway, 7, and Vonn Chorneyko, 10, to shoot for the chance to have a $500 donation made to Canadian Blood Services in each of their names.

READ MORE: 6-year-old Regina boy meets woman who saved his life

The two boys always knew about each other, but it was the first time they met.

“The boys were having a great time, doing boy things and shooting pucks. It was really fun,” said  Ashley Chorneyko, Vonn’s mother.

“Stories [like these] pull at heartstrings, they pull at our heartstrings, they pull at everyone’s heartstrings. [If] sharing our stories inspire people to go give blood again or for the first time, it’s a win-win all around.”

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Lincoln made the shot from centre ice. Vonn missed, but still had a $250 donation made in his name. Together, $750 was donated.

‘It feels amazing’: 6-year-old Regina boy meets the woman who saved his life
‘It feels amazing’: 6-year-old Regina boy meets the woman who saved his life

“Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood,” said Jeff Macoun, Canada Life president and chief operating officer, Canada.

“We’re proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Canadian Blood Services and at the same time, offer these young people a chance to make a meaningful contribution to a cause they care about so deeply.”

Stem cell recipients from Regina Lincoln Honoway, 7, and Vonn Choneyko, 10.
Stem cell recipients from Regina Lincoln Honoway, 7, and Vonn Choneyko, 10. Provided / Canada Life

Lincoln received a stem cell transplant at four years old after being diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia – a condition that happens when the body stops producing enough new blood cells.

Vonn received one this past summer after he was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia – a DNA-repair disease that could lead to bone marrow failure, leukemia, and/or solid tumours.

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READ MORE: 10-year-old Regina boy returns home after battle with rare disease

“That was Vonn’s first day out without a mask since his transplant. He just got the go-ahead to take it off, so it was an extra special day for us,” Chorneyko said.

On Monday, Vonn went back to school for the first time since the end of May 2019.

“That was pretty exciting for us. He was nervous, excited, New Year and a new start for him.”