Griffyn and Misty Dmytar are happy to be together following Griffyn’s early childhood struggles with cancer.

Some wishes do come true

Son of Mountie and past Tour de Rock rider experiences Disneyland, thanks to Make a Wish Canada

Rick StiebelThe Chronicle

Griffyn Dmytar is living proof that there is hope and help available for families forced to deal with childhood cancer.

Griffyn was only nine days old when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a malignant form of cancer that affects the nervous system, explained his mother, Nanaimo RCMP Const. Misty Dmytar. It arises in and around the adrenal glands, but can also develop in other areas of the abdomen and chest, and most commonly occurs in children under five years of age. While some forms may disappear on their own in some children, others require multiple treatments.

“Griffyn had his first surgery when he was 13 days old,” Dmytar said. “They removed a tumor the size of a baseball and had to remove his adrenal gland as well.”

He spent six months in B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, enduring six rounds of chemotherapy.

The good news is that Griffyn, now five years of age, was given a clean bill of health three days before the family celebrated with a week in Disneyland in September, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Canada, which works with B.C. Children’s Hospital and other agencies to make dreams come true for children dealing with a wide range of difficult issues.

“It all happened so quickly,” said Dmytar, a Ladysmith resident who has been with the RCMP for 13 years. “We waited until Griffyn was old enough to decide what he wanted to do. Make-A-Wish representatives came to the house and we knew we were going by March.”

Dmytar, Griffyn, his sister, Jordyn, 6, and Misty’s ex-partner, Duncan RCMP Cpl. Cari Lougheed, went to California together because Griffyn  insisted the whole family share the experience.

“Griffyn was extremely excited and overwhelmed all in one,” Dmytar said. “It was a trip the family won’t forget for the rest of our lives.”

A favorite highlight for Griffyn was the California Adventure, which includes a re-creation of the downtown in the movie, Cars.

“He also had the opportunity to spend half an hour one-on-one with Mickey Mouse,” Dmytar said. “Mickey played with the kids, it was really amazing.”

The end of September and beginning of October is always an emotional time for Dmytar, who was a member of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock in 2013.

“Griffyn was three and he was my junior rider,” she explained. “Every year the tour opens up a lot of memories, I hold it very close to my heart.”

Although Dmytar said it was physically and mentally very challenging, the Tour de Rock helped keep things in persecutive through a difficult time.

“The emotional part is the hardest,” she said. “Talking with a mother who just lost her child and comes up and give you $50, it touches your heart in ways you can’t imagine.”

The tour was a chance to give back to her community and communities up and down the Island that have given so much indirectly in so many ways, she noted.

That’s why it’s so important to speak about organizations like Cops for Cancer and Make-A-Wish, to name just a couple, she said.

“People dealing with cancer need to know there’s help there and that they’re not alone,” Dmytar said.

Just Posted

Ladysmith Interact club students inspired and inspiring

Ladysmith Secondary School group making a difference in their community

IIO doesn’t recommend charges after motorcyclist death in Mill Bay

An off-duty VicPD officer was involved in the crash

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Windstorm topples tree onto townhouse in Nanaimo

Heavy winds have thousands of B.C. Hydro customers without power

Most Read