Sebastian Yanquelevech played with Lego, got his face painted and ran around with his younger brother.
It is what every normal eight-year-old does. But he’s also a eight-year-old survivor.
Inspired by Sebastian’s plight, Humber College students held a fundraiser in the cafeteria at North campus to raise money for brain tumor research.
The March 31 event came after the Good Deeds club organized a Free Hugs day on March 11 in support of Sebastian, who underwent brain surgery on March 5 to remove a tumor that was causing him seizures.
Nadine Weis, Sebastian’s mother, attended the event with Sebastian and his five-year-old brother Julian.
“It’s overwhelming, the happiness it’s brought to my family and to my kids. The strength that you feel in this little area is overflowing,” said Weis.
“It is beautiful,” she said.
The fundraiser had a variety of activities throughout the day personally organized by Mobeen Sheikh, president of the Good Deeds club. Sheikh says the idea came after the Good Deeds Club gave Sebastian his card and collage from Free Hugs day.
He said meeting Sebastian after his surgery was a surreal moment for him and the club members.
“When I was at his house it was a lot of fun. I was not expecting Sebastian to be walking around because it was a day or two after the surgery. But he was running around,” said Sheikh.
“When we left his house it was so amazing, all of the club members were looking at each other thinking, did this really happen? It was a great feeling.”
The fundraiser included a bake sale, selling cupcakes, cookies and banana bread baked by 15 Humber students over a four-day period. There were stations for face and canvas painting, a Lego station and temporary tattoos.
Victoria Hammond, a second-year Humber student, joined the event as a volunteer.
“School is a great place to spread the word around. For me, I am in Cosmetic Management so I am doing the face painting. And then there is the Culinary program people who are decorating stuff for the bake sale,” said Hammond.
Weis says she is making a scrapbook and documenting what happened at the fundraiser. She said her son’s recovery is going well.
“His recovery is absolutely amazing. I am so glad I brought my other son and they’re having fun together. He is five-and-a-half and he just told me (he) can’t believe this is all for Sebastian. So he gets it,” she said.