Family amazed by community support for disabled son

Yannick Rabu, 7, needed renovations to his home to accommodate wheelchair

  • Dec. 1, 2016 7:00 a.m.
The Rabu family says they are grateful for all the work that Abbotsford residents have undertaken to help raise funds for home renovations for their son Yannick.

The Rabu family says they are grateful for all the work that Abbotsford residents have undertaken to help raise funds for home renovations for their son Yannick.

Owen Munro, Abbotsford News

Life has thrown Yannick Rabu and his family more than a few curveballs in his short seven years of existence, including a brain malformation, but thanks to the generosity of Abbotsford residents, his life will become a little easier.

His parents, Vida and Yves, say they have been hesitant to ask for help, but what started as a small fundraising effort, mostly through Yves’s work, has blossomed into a huge project to raise enough money to renovate the upstairs of the Rabus’ east Abbotsford home.

They say they were especially shocked when Yannick’s teachers and educational assistants at McMillan Elementary organized a bottle drive to be held on Thursday, Dec. 1 to help cover some of the costs of renovations.

They have also created a GoFundMe account after they had an overwhelming response from people looking to make monetary donations.

“We were reluctant to ask for help, especially when we are trying for this much money,” Yves said. “But in three days we’ve raised $1,770 dollars on GoFundMe and that’s terrific.”

Because they attend to so many of Yannick’s needs, Yves has had to take time off from his job as a commercial truck driver, and Vida only works as a part-time care aide. Their home has also presented difficulties in being able to move Yannick around. He currently sleeps in the living room as it’s too difficult for him to access his bedroom.

Yannick has cerebral palsy and was diagnosed with a non-reversible brain malformation called lissencephaly (which means “smooth brain”) when he was a small child. He has epilepsy and has seizures on a daily basis. He’s non-verbal, but communicates through hand, arm and tongue gestures.

“When I see Yannick, he can only see me when I am about 20 centimetres in front of his face,” Yves said. “Anything beyond that, it’s blurry. Glasses are not an option because it would require too much work for his nerves.”

He also had a hip surgery called osteotomy in October, in which a doctor inserted a small plate into his hip to keep his hip bone aligned. His parents are hoping he will be able to have it taken off in time for Thursday’s bottle drive.

The funds raised will go into three separate projects the Rabus are hoping to accomplish. Some have already been completed – a $13,000 ramp was installed – but the Rabus say the financial strains are increasing. Through his work, Algra Bros. Developments has offered to help renovate Yannick’s bedroom to make it more accessible; the door needs to be widened to fit his hospital bed, and brackets need to be installed for a ceiling lift.

The GoFundMe money will also go towards installing a walk-in shower, but the adjoining kitchen must be moved back to make room. Yves hopes most of the adaptation costs for the home will be covered, but admits more work will probably be required over time to facilitate the best life for Yannick.

Donations can be made by searching “Yannick Home disability adaptation” at gofundme.com.

 

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

There were a total of 182 deaths of trumpeter swans at Judson Lake over the past winter, according to the Save the Swans website. The lake has the heaviest lead concentration of any known lake, the website states. (PHOTO: savetheswans.ca)
Abbotsford man starts petition, saying lead shot is killing waterfowl in Judson Lake and beyond

Farmer Kevin Sinclair says local lake is ‘poster child’ for swans’ deaths from lead poisoning

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read