Grace Teboekhorst

Ridge girl a Champion Child

Eight-year-old Grace Teboekhorst’s long road to recovery has made her a champion in the eyes of her parents, Dennis and Melissa.

Eight-year-old Grace Teboekhorst’s long road to recovery has made her a champion in the eyes of her parents, Dennis and Melissa.

After Grace was diagnosed with a rare disease when she was three, her kidneys were damaged, leaving the Maple Ridge resident fighting for her life.

Her father, Dennis, was eventually approved as her donor, and in August 2010, Grace received a new kidney after surgery at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Now Grace and her family’s fight is being recognized  as the eight-year-old has been named the 2013-14 Champion Child, presented by a Children’s Miracle Network program that honours children who overcome severe medical challenges.

Grace’s mother said her family was overwhelmed when they found out the news.

“We really do live day-to-day and we’re thankful that someone else has recognized us,” said Melissa, who home schools Grace because she still battles immune deficiencies. “We’re very grateful.”

Grace continues her post-transplant care at B.C. Children’s Hospital. However, she will eventually need another kidney transplant. For now, her family is focusing on acting as ambassadors for B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Melissa said the one of the most important factors in Grace’s recovery was the care they received at B.C. Children’s Hospitals. She said being able to remain close to home helped both during treatment and recovery periods.

It was a very emotional, intense, and long recovery,” said Melissa.  “The ability for Grace to receive treatment in our home province, so close to home, was crucial for us. If we had to leave the province for treatment would have be extremely difficult and really tears at the fabric of the family and makes it difficult to cope.”

As B.C.’s representative in the Champions program, Grace, along with her parents and younger brother Calym, will travel with 11 other Canadian Champion children in Toronto. The group will then head to Orlando, Florida, to join the 50 American Champion children and their families at the Children’s Miracle Network annual event.

Melissa said because of Grace’s illness, the family hasn’t been able to travel.

“The kids don’t want to start a countdown too soon, they’re going to wait until a week out.”

Children’s Miracle Network is a not-for-profit organization that helps kids by raising funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. In Canada, Children’s Miracle Network raises funds for 14 children’s hospitals, and has raised more than $200 million since its inception.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Two seeking Liberal nod in Ridge, Mission

No dates yet for candidate selection process

Trauma talk packs the ACT in Maple Ridge

What is Trauma? is the second of three free community conversations

Hall Of Fame induction is a feather in the cap, says proud Walker Sr.

Son will be inducted into hall of fame with 76.6 percent of vote

Langley brewery renames beer as tribute to local Vegas shooting victim

Maple Ridge’s Jordan McIldoon, one of 58 killed in 2017 mass shooting, remembered by Five Roads

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

‘I would not go’ to China says B.C. traveller concerned about coronavirus

Alice Li said she goes to China every other year but would scrap any travel plans

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Most Read