Students at Mount Sentinel Secondary in South Slocan are rallying around a recent graduate who is being treated for leukemia.
Devin Kilgour received the unexpected diagnosis in April after visiting the hospital to have an eye checked on.
A Gofundme page for him has already raised more than $17,000 toward a $20,000 goal and a talent show is planned at the school on Saturday at 3 p.m. Funds will go towards Kilgour and his family to offset travel and medical expenses.
Amber Smith, who is organizing the show, was a classmate of Kilgour’s in the school’s media program, Academy PM.
“He’s a really special guy,” she said. “He’s made amazing pieces of art with Academy and on his own. I am so excited to be helping his family raise this money so we can give him a better start to his year.”
Smith says students in the Academy program each choose a passion project, and this year hers is event planning, something she will also be taking post-secondary classes in.
“I really wanted to do something that could help out in our community and get our community more involved,” she said. “We wanted to help any way we could and thought a talent show would be a nice, fun, light way of helping support and fundraise for him.”
The line-up includes singing, stand-up comedy, sketches by the Drama 11/12 class. Admission is by a minimum donation of $5.
In a post on the Gofundme page, Danny Leeming, one of Kilgour’s teachers, called him an “incredibly positive, upbeat, and caring young man who walks with kindness, compassion, and empathy wherever he goes.”
Kilgour is an outdoor buff, a photographer, and a filmmaker, and spent three years in the Academy program.
“His best attribute, however, is his incredibly kind attitude and positive outlook,” Leeming wrote. “He quietly made space for everyone of every background who walked through the door and showed humility, vulnerability and empathy to his classmates. He made our school a better place to learn every day he was present.”
After graduating last year, Kilgour spent the summer fighting wildfires and was planning to return to it this year.
According to an update posted on the Gofundme page by his mother, Kilgour is now home but still “in the process of fine-tuning his medical treatments. Eventually, with time, he will be back up and doing all the things he loves.”