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PNE helps Penticton family create holiday memories as son battles Leukemia

Last Updated Dec 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm PST

(Credit: Tara Morris Photography)

A Penticton man and his family are getting a little Christmas cheer thanks to the team at the PNE WinterLights

Chantal Cobb's son turns 26 on Tuesday and is fighting leukemia for the fourth time

Cobb turned to Facebook when PNE tickets were sold out and not long after she was contacted by the crew and given ticket

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Chantal Cobb and her family are getting a little much needed Christmas cheer as one of her sons battles cancers for the fourth time.

Cobb’s son Shieran turns 26 on Tuesday and has been fighting leukemia for the past two and a half years. The Penticton family recently learned his stem cell transplant wasn’t successful and treatment options were wearing thin. The news made it hard for the family to feel like celebrating as Shieran got treatment in Vancouver.

“So far, we have absolutely done nothing for Christmas,” Cobb said. “There’s not a decoration up, not a light up. Nothing. And I thought it would be kind of nice for us to get into the Christmas spirit as a family and maybe go through the light show at the PNE might help brighten us up.”

Unfortunately, the WinterLights at the PNE is sold out.

So Cobb turned to Facebook, asking for anyone with a spare ticket to get in touch.

That’s when she was contacted by the PNE and was offered tickets.

“It was out of the blue,” Cobb said. “It was amazing. With the whole COVID-19 going on and trying to keep in the regulations the best we can, despite the circumstances, but we don’t want to miss out on our son’s last Christmas and last birthday. It’s pretty amazing.”

Laura Ballance with the PNE explains the team was inundated with calls to help the family get tickets to the sold-out event.

“For the last 110 years, we’ve been the place where British Columbians celebrated and have also been the place where British Columbians have come together. In this particular instance Saturday night is when the family posted, and instantly my phone started to ring and we began the process of trying to locate the family,” Ballance explains.

Cobb and her family will now enjoy the lights this Wednesday for the first time and create new memories to cherish.

“It’s every parent’s nightmare. It’s been a long haul watching him suffer, but he’s not ready to give up,” she says.

Cobb adds she treasures every moment left with her son, and they encourage people to donate blood to help others going through cancer treatment.

“The blood donations are keeping him alive right now. It’s like a new battery that gets put in him every time he gets topped up in the hospital and he really wants to promote the Canadian Blood Services and for people to get out there and give,” Cobb says. “It’s Christmas time. We might not have money to buy presents, but we’ve got gold inside of us.”