Caleb Mclean, a terminally ill Langley boy who inspired hundreds to help grant his last wish, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 4.
His father, Travis McLean, told the Langley Advance Times that the family had booked the Disney cruise the eight-year-old Caleb had asked for.
“He didn’t make it,” the grieving dad said.
“We did our best to keep him comfortable. He was loved.”
Travis said the family was discussing whether to still go on the cruise as a memorial to Caleb.
In April, a campaign to send Caleb on his dream vacation reached its goal of $45,000, the result of a gofundme.com campaign called “Caleb’s Last Vacation.”
Over 14 days, 493 people contributed $45,712.
Caleb was cheered by the news.
“He was excited when we told him about the ‘big Mickey Mouse boat,” Travis said at the time.
After attempts to remove one of two resurgent tumors were only partially successful, doctors told his family that Caleb only had months to live.
When a visitor from the Make-A-Wish BC and Yukon, a charity that grants wishes to seriously ill kids, asked Caleb what he would like, he said he wanted to go on the “Disney boat” with his mother, father and all five siblings.
That was more than the foundation could cover, and the family was told the trip would only be possible with four; Caleb, his parents, and just one of his five siblings.
Caleb’s aunt Danielle Glynn responded by setting up an online GoFundMe campaign to raise the money it would cost to sent Caleb’s whole family on his dream vacation.
“He’s a big heart in a little body,” a tearful Glynn said of her nephew.
“He lights up the room with his smile.”
In the first three days, more than 190 people donated about $23,000 to the campaign and the pace of contributions picked up as word spread.
One supporter, a Langley woman who didn’t have an internet connection, found Caleb’s family the old-fashioned way after reading the story in the newspaper.
Travis said the woman used the phonebook to call every McLean listed.
“She said she wanted to help, but she doesn’t have a computer,” McLean said.
When the older woman arrived, she gave McLean $50 – and a hug.
“It was heartwarming,” McLean said.
There will be a memorial service for family and close friends, and details of time and place are not being disclosed.
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