Ten-year-old Kaiden Finley hands a customer a Happy Meal at the Parksville McDonald’s Wednesday (May 2) for McHappy Day. Each year on McHappy Day, $1 from any Big Mac, Happy Meal or McCafé purchase goes toward Ronald McDonald House Charities. Finley’s family stayed at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver last year while Kaiden was going through treatment for a brain tumour. — Lauren Collins photo

Parksville brain tumour survivor McHappy to give back

10-year-old diagnosed with brain tumour in 2017

Almost one year after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, 10-year-old Kaiden Finley is giving back to those that helped him and his family.

On Wednesday (May 2), Kaiden and his mom, Tasha, stopped by the Parksville McDonald’s for the annual McHappy Day to hand out meals and let people know how the Ronald McDonald House supported them while Kaiden was going through treatment.

Every year on McHappy Day, for every Big Mac, Happy Meal or hot McCafé beverage purchased, $1 is donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities and children’s charities across Canada. Ronald McDonald House provides families of sick children a place to stay while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital.

Kaiden, who is now back at Springwood Elementary School, said it felt good to be able to help out on McHappy Day.

Kaiden was diagnosed with a brain tumour May 7, 2017 and three days later underwent a 12-hour surgery to remove the cancerous growth at B.C. Children’s Hospital. During that time Tasha stayed at Ronald McDonald House.

RELATED: 9-year-old Parksville brain tumour victim helped by classmates

Tasha said she stayed at Ronald McDonald House, near B.C. Children’s Hospital, from May to July of last year.

Kaiden is one of six children, and during Kaiden’s treatment, his siblings stayed with their grandmother in Parksville but would occasionally visit Kaiden.

“That place did so much good stuff for us. If we didn’t have that place, the siblings wouldn’t have been able to come and visit. It would help keep his mind off of treatments for the next day,” said Tasha of Ronald McDonald House, adding that for any MRI check up, they can stay at Ronald McDonald House.

At Ronald McDonald House, Kaiden said, his favourite rooms were the art and game rooms.

July 21, 2018, Tasha said, will be Kaiden’s one year anniversary of being treatment free.

But Kaiden already has more plans to give back before then, Tasha said. He will also be doing the brain tumour walk in Victoria May 27, “so children don’t have to go through what I did.”

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