The communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have jumped into action, raising $25,000 in less than two weeks for the family of a young mother who succumbed to a rare, second form of cancer last month.
Kaylanna Lipinski’s father, Chris Lipinski, launched a GoFundMe online fundraiser to help pay for his daughter’s funeral, as well as support her baby, who is less than a year old.
Kaylanna initially began her battle with cancer at the age of five when she was diagnosed with a form of stomach cancer called embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
After a full year of treatments, she was able to successfully overcome the cancer, and eventually entered a long-term relationship with Ethan Valchos, which led to the birth of their daughter Valentina Valchos on Oct. 18, 2021.
Three months after the birth of her daughter, Kaylanna became severely ill and was diagnosed with jaundice.
Soon after, she was informed that she had developed a rare form of kidney cancer and was treated for several weeks in hospital before succumbing to her illness on July 25 at the age of 19.
The GoFundMe campaign started with an initial goal of $15,000, which was surpassed in less than a week.
“It just shows how many lives she touched and how many people cared for her,” Chris told the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News.
The fundraising campaign sits at over $25,000 raised as of Monday (Aug. 8), which Chris emphasizes is a massive help for his grieving family.
“It’s being used to help the family to cover the cost of the funeral and to take some of the burden off of the family that hasn’t been able to work while taking care of her,” he said.
“The majority will be put into an educational account for Valentina. This will be given to her when she’s old enough along with other precious items we are putting away for her.”
Full details about the online fundraiser can be found at gofundme.com/help-family-of-kaylanna-lipinski.
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