Cienna Friesen, a six-year-old girl from Wawota, was recently diagnosed with Low Grade Brainstem Glioma. This is a tumor, which is located on her brainstem. It has been determined to be inoperable, but there are other treatments which will hopefully help the young girl.
Diagnosed on Aug. 23, she was referred to Toronto where she will undergo these treatments. The family should know within the next week when they will be flying to Toronto to find Cienna the help she needs.
Cienna is the daughter of Rochelle (Ford) Friesen of Wawota and Darren Friesen of Maryfield. Kelton, her older brother, is 10 and Zooey, her younger sister, is three. The young family has faced adversity in the past as they lost Darren to a quad accident three years ago at a quad rally.
“Rochelle is an incredibly strong woman, they are a strong family, and are strong of faith. Yes, Cienna is sick and is in for a battle, but she [Rochelle] just wants Cienna to experience childhood.” Erin Gardiner, friend of the Friesen family, said of Rochelle, the family, and Cienna.
They are extremely thankful for the support the community has shown and are very appreciative for everyone being so positive, allowing Cienna to continue to be the happy little girl though she is dealing with a lot.
Many in Wawota, upon learning of Cienna’s diagnosis, were eager to find a way to help. Last Friday, the day after the Friesen’s learned of Cienna’s tumor, Gardiner met with Gerald Duff, owner of 2nd Street Eats. They organized, within 24 hours, a benefit supper for Cienna.
On Sept. 8 there will be two seating’s held. There will be one between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and another between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., 2nd Street Eats is serving a garlic shrimp appetizer, salad bar, prime rib and sides, as well as dessert. Each plate will cost $100, but all of the funds raised will go to Cienna. For tickets it is asked that you contact Erin Gardiner at 739-2324.
By the night of Aug. 24, most of the Town of Wawota had heard of Cienna’s upcoming battle and had planned to meet on Monday, Aug. 27. Here approximately 50 people helped to organize a cabaret to raise money for Cienna.
The cabaret will be held on Sept. 15 and will cost $25. It will include supper and a live band to follow. Throughout the evening there will be both silent and live auction items to bid on. The community is hoping to help in any way possible.
For more information concerning the cabaret contact Elly VanWinkoop at 577-2215. The auction is being handled by Kristen Murray at 739-2527 and if anyone would like to donate items it is asked that you contact Murray.
If unable to attend, but would like to help look for tins around Wawota, Carlyle, Maryfield, Fairlight, and Moosomin to make donations.
Already $1,300 has been raised for the Friesen’s. The Kenosee Superslides, over the weekend of Aug. 25 and 26, raised this money through a candy “auction” and many young children who gave their change to help Cienna.
Though the tumor has begun to affect Cienna’s balance, she now needs to hold someone’s hand in order to walk straight, Cienna is in high spirits. She is a strong little girl, with a very strong family, who is staying positive and appreciates how much the community wants to help them, while remaining positive themselves.