Local fundraiser in the works for Manitoba family

Heather Latter

A local woman is planning a fundraising bake sale and garage sale here this Saturday for a Manitoba family that’s currently going through some tough times.
“I just thought that there must be something I can do,” reasoned Lisa Lee of Fort Frances, who grew up with Erin Brunel in Swan River, Man.
The Brunel family—Erin, her husband, Rob, and children, Myley (four) and Larsen (two)—now live in Ste. Rose, Man. but have been spending a lot of time in Winnipeg, where young Larsen has been battling leukemia.
While Rob, Erin, and Larsen were headed back to Winnipeg earlier this month to start a new round of chemotherapy, their Ste. Rose home burned to the ground.
Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the blaze as Myley, who was there with her grandparents, alerted them when she saw the smoke.
They were able to make it out safely but 20 minutes later, the Brunels’ home and everything in it was gone.
Lee said the family is staying strong amid the tragedy.
“Immediately after the fire, [Erin] said we might be houseless but we are far from homeless,” Lee recalled.
“I don’t know where all their strength comes from, but it’s amazing to see.”
Wanting to do something more than just sending her love and prayers, Lee started organizing a garage and bake sale.
“It’s unrealistic to send a huge box of clothes or toys, but I figured I’ve got stuff in my basement that I could sell and I’m sure my friends do, too,” she explained, noting sending the Brunel family some money surely would help them during this tough time.
Lee wants them to be able to focus on getting Larsen healthy.
The family recently discovered Myley is a bone-marrow match for Larsen and he is scheduled to receive the transplant on May 31—a life-giving gift from his big sister.
But Larsen has to be in remission for the transplant to take place as scheduled.
“Their story just pulls at my heart strings,” Lee remarked.
“We have a really great community, and I hope they will step up and help whether they know the family or not,” she added.
The garage and bake sale will take place Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 648 Third St. E.
Lee said donations of garage sale items and baking is welcome. They will gladly come and pick up items if needed by calling 274-3454.
She added anyone wishing to donate any unused gift cards can do so, as well.
“We’re just trying to do all we can. Every little bit helps,” Lee stressed, adding there also is an account set up at the Royal Bank (#06177-5026893).
“Most importantly, we hope people come out and buy stuff on Saturday,” Lee said.
“It’s for a good cause. They are a great family,” she stressed.