GoFundMe campaign aims to help family of young White Rock boy with rare condition

‘He has been through so much already in his short life,’ says mother

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family of Riley Stevens, who suffers from a rare condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. (Contributed photo)

A series of unfortunate events – a flooded house, a rental shortage and a global pandemic – have combined to make life especially challenging for the family of a nine-month-old White Rock boy who was born with a rare, life-threatening disorder.

Riley Stevens was born with CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia), which is a hole in a baby’s diaphragm that allows organs to migrate into the chest while the baby is still developing. As a result, it causes the child’s heart and lungs to be smaller and less viable.

Babies born with CDH are immediately put on a machine to keep them stable until they’re OK’d for surgery; only half of babies born with the condition survive.

Riley spent the first six months of his life in hospital, hooked up to a feeding tube and a machine to assist with his breathing. Eventually, however, he grew strong enough to come home.

His mother, Courtney, calls him her “sweet miracle baby.”

But recently, a flood at the Stevens’ home caused by an exploding toilet tank forced them to move out.

As a result of water damage parts of the home are now starting to mold – furniture and toys were also damaged – and living with mold isn’t safe for a baby with severe health problems.

Courtney’s sister has set up a GoFundMe campaign for the family, in hopes of helping them with moving and living expenses, as Riley and his parents have been staying in a hotel while they search for a new place to live.

The campaign (https://ca.gofundme.com/f/help-riley-have-a-safe-home-cdh-warrior) was created earlier this week and has a goal of raising $5,000.

“It’s also extremely difficult to care for Riley’s extensive medical needs (while) crammed into a small hotel room and living out of suitcases, ” Courtney told Peace Arch News Friday.

“We have been desperately searching for somewhere to live but the rental market hardly exists – or it’s extremely expensive for a family with only one working income.”

• READ ALSO: GoFundMe campaign aims to help South Surrey theatre during COVID-19 pandemic

• READ ALSO: GoFundMe set up to raise money for searchers, young boys of missing B.C. mom

Because of Riley’s medical needs he cannot attend daycare, which precludes Courtney from working as she stays home to care for him.

“We are still staying in a hotel but as you can imagine… we are quickly running out of money,” she said.

This weekend, however, the family will be temporarily relocating to Courtney’s mother’s home in Mission. However, the move means they will have to find temporary homes for their two cats, which cannot stay at her mother’s house due to allergy concerns.

So far, Courtney said, the only people who have reached out to help them – aside from family – are “scam artists trying to take advantage of desperate families.”

“This is all very hard on our family. (Riley) has only enjoyed two of his nine months of life in his own home. The rest of the time has been back and forth between hospitals and now hotels,” she said.

“He has been through so much already in his short life, and we just want a safe, comfortable place to call home.”



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fundraisingillnessRental accommodation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired Mission teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Alan Sweet taught in school district for 10 years, investigators seeking further witnesses

Members of the Abbotsford Community Action Team include (from left) Bev Olfert, Rebecca Tice, Tally Clement, Const. Mary Boonstra, Mandy Aujla, Wanda Phillips and Devinder Dherari-Sidhu. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford group raises awareness about sexual exploitation of youth

Community Action Team uses posters, stickers and online information

The driver of a pickup truck failed to stop after knocking down a wooden fence on March 3, 2021. (screen grab)
VIDEO: Footage catches pick-up driver smashing fence on Abbotsford/Langley border

Driver came forward after video circulated on social media

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of March 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

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

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)
Historic agreement significantly expands Indigenous role in Lower Mainland policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

Most Read