CASTLEGAR — Two Castlegar boys have received a commendation from Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.
Last year, Jaxson Squires, 8, and his younger brother Ryder Squires, 5, raised $3,455 for the BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH), and earlier this month those efforts were recognized when they received the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Citizen Commendation Award.
The boys went to Vancouver to receive the award and were accompanied by their mom and dad, grandparents, and their aunt from Edmonton and her family.
Darrell Reid, fire chief of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson presented the boys with medals, coins, and a certificate at Vancouver City Hall.
“They felt very proud and honoured,” said Jesse Squires, the boys’ mother.
The award came as a surprise to the Squires family as they had no idea the boys were even being considered for the award. They were given two weeks notice before making the trip to Vancouver, and Jesse said it was the family’s first trip to Vancouver that wasn’t to go to the BCCH.
The family’s connection to the hospital began with Ryder, who was born prematurely at 35 weeks and went into respiratory distress within 24 hours of his birth. He had to be airlifted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the BCCH and was intubated for three days. After a slew of tests, he was eventually diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and placed on a ventilator.
Ryder continues to return to BCCH for regular appointments and Jaxson has also been cared for at BCCH.
“This was actually our first time in Vancouver that was not for the hospital, like doctors’ appointments, but we stopped in to say hi,” said Jesse.
She also added that the boys aren’t done fundraising for BCCH.
“Just prior to getting this phone call [about the award] … Jaxson said to me, ‘Mom, I want to do a lemonade stand for BC Children’s. I want to raise more money.’ But it was freezing out,” explained Jesse.
While the lemonade stand was a no-go, the boys still have a Facebook page at facebook.com/The-Squires-Brothers-1553512531562767 where they will continue to raise money so other children can receive the same care they have.
Jesse and her sons wish to thank the community for all of their support so far.