Dawson Jackson and his parents. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer

Dawson Jackson and his parents. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer

Five-year-old boy fighting cancer celebrates Halloween with reverse trick-or-treating in Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin Fire Department made a special stop for Dawson Jackson.

Five-year-old Dawson Jackson is celebrating Halloween a little differently this year. This month he was diagnosed with cancer, and just recently left inpatient care at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

Raelynn Soderburg, Dawson’s mother, says that they wanted Dawson’s Halloween to be extra special this year following their recent hardships and as they brace for the coming challenges of Dawson’s illness.

“October 16 of 2020 our son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic Leukemia,” says Soderburg. “The same cancer I had when I was two.”

Dawson was admitted to the hospital the day before they found out his diagnosis because of a high fever.

On Monday Oct. 26, 2020 they were released from the Stollery following his first eight days of chemotherapy, which is mandatory to do as an inpatient.

For the next three years Dawson will be doing chemo and the family will find out on Nov. 29, 2020 if he will have to continue on the aggressive form of chemotherapy or be transitioned to a less aggressive dosage.

They are currently staying with Soderburg’s grandma in Wetaskiwin because it is closer to the Stollery than Rimbey where Jesse Jackson, Dawson’s father, is from, and Edson where Soderburg is from. It is required for Dawson’s treatment that they be within an hour distance of the Stollery.

“Its just closer for chemo for right now,” Soderburg says. “It’s just easier for us to do it because otherwise we have to drive two hours back and forth to do chemo.”

Given the rising numbers of COVID cases across the province and even in the City of Wetaskiwin, it was decided by the family that it was safer for Dawson to not go door-to-door trick or treating. However, his family wasn’t about to let him miss out on Halloween traditions.

They created a plan for reverse trick-or-treating, where Dawson dressed up in his costume and people came to their doorstep and handed out candy to him.

“We thought of the reverse trick-or-treating idea so at least that way he is not in contact with a lot of people and can have his close family come and see him and make his Halloween a little more special for him,” Soderburg says. “It has boosted his mood already today, I can tell today.”

Dressed as a firefighter, Dawson was thrilled to get so many special visitors in costumes handing him goody bags of treats—and then, some really special Halloween guests came to say hi. The City of Wetaskiwin Fire Department and RCMP officers drove past Dawson’s reverse trick-or-treating set up with lights and sirens on.

At one point the parade of emergency responder vehicles stopped, and out of a fire-truck stepped Sparky, the Wetaskiwin Fire Department’s mascot.

Sparky came and gave Dawson a big hug and a present. In his present Dawson got a special red fireman’s hat and a new firefighter shirt/ costume.

Dawson’s family are currently collecting donations for an online auction that will be held to help ease some of the financial burdens of medications and treatments that they will be facing in the months to come. More information on the auction can be found at ‘Lets fight cancer with Dawson’ on Facebook.

Despite not trick-or-treating this year the way he regularly would, one thing is for sure; for this little fireman—his Halloween is one he won’t forget.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dawson Jackson meets the Wetaskiwin Fire Department’s mascot, Sparky. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer

Dawson Jackson meets the Wetaskiwin Fire Department’s mascot, Sparky. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer

Just Posted

(File photo)
Town of Ponoka electrical distribution tariff bylaw moves forward

5 per cent local access fee coming Jan. 1, 2021

t
Outbreaks declared in Ponoka, Camrose County

COVID-19 update as of Dec. 1, 2020

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Most Read