Ryder Lathigee gets chemotherapy. (Special to The NEWS)

Thief targets couple in midst of cancer struggle

Lost cancer meds during B&E in Maple Ridge

A Maple Ridge brain tumour patient and his girlfriend got home from a camping trip to find they had been robbed, their house a shambles, and even his cancer meds were missing.

Madison Mackinnon related her boyfriend Ryder Lathigee’s ordeal. He was suffering from double vision, and in March doctors found a three centimetre germinoma brain tumour at the base of his skull. It can’t be operated on.

For the past four months he has been getting chemotherapy, and it has been debilitating. His last round was coming up, and they went for a camping trip to Rolley Lake while he was still feeling up to it.

Sunday, Aug. 30, they arrived back home to find the back gate was left open. Going into their house, which they share with her sister and her boyfriend, they saw a broken window, and a bookshelf that was in front of it had been pushed over.

“There were things everywhere,” said Mackinnon. “Upstairs was thoroughly trashed.”

It appeared the thief had taken a broom and simply swept things off shelves and onto the floor.

Of course he also stole. Between the two couples they lost two PlayStations 4s and three Nintendo Switch console games, collectible Star Trek figurines, vintage video games and more. Some of the items stolen had sentimental value, but the dollar value is also about $5,000, she said.

They were left with a sick feeling.

“The sense of having someone walk into your home and walk around, go through things, without you knowing them, is disgusting,” said Mackinnon.

The thief stole medication, grabbing the opioid hydromorphone he uses for pain control, but also pinching his steroids and anti-nausea meds.

Like the destruction he brought to their house, stealing the cancer medication was a senseless crime that still caused real hardship, she said.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge cyclist fundraises all the way to hospital for cancer surgery

They got a video image of the thief, but his face cannot be seen. He was light skinned, wearing a hoodie with a dark, puffy vest, dark pants and a light coloured ball cap. He carried the items out in a Tupperware bin and blue Ikea bag.

The robbery was Aug. 29 at 11 p.m.

Lathigee finished chemotherapy last week, and will now go to the Abbotsford Cancer Centre regularly over five weeks for radiation therapy.

Ryder’s mother started an online fundraiser for her son.

”Life has hit this young couple hard. With no insurance they have to pay for all the damages and for replacement of the stolen items,” said Stephanie Hill. “Please help give this young couple a boost during this trying time

She has started a gofundme page to help the couple recoup some of their losses, and have raised over $2,000 so far.



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