Last month, we announced the commencement of the 2017 Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre.

The concept is simple: over 80 businesses and organizations in the community have rooted their decorated Christmas trees throughout the mall in the hopes of getting the most votes from the public.

With every vote, people donate to the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation to help them support kids like Rowan Loran.

Rowan with his mom and dad – Kirsten and Chris Loran (BC Children’s Hospital)

Rowan’s story

When 5-year-old Rowan was around 15 months old, he contracted norovirus, and his parents took him to the hospital when they saw blood in his stool.

For 11 days, doctors ran tests and kept hoping that his platelet levels would rise, but they never did. Four months later, it was confirmed that Rowan had Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

This is a rare genetic immunodeficiency disorder as well as a bleeding disorder which prevents his bone marrow from producing enough platelets, which are required for blood to clot after an injury.

The only solution was a bone marrow transplant, and fortunately, the B.C. Children’s Hospital was able to make that happen.

Rowan and his mom Kirsten lived in BC Children’s Hospital for two months while Rowan underwent the bone marrow transplant; the family stayed in Vancouver for two more months while Rowan received treatment as an outpatient.

After several heart-wrenching complications and the promise of being monitored for the rest of his life, Rowan’s bone marrow transplant was declared a success.

The full story can be viewed here.

Rowan picks his favourite tree, the Seastar Chemicals’ “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed tree

His pick at the Festival of Trees

This year, Rowan was selected to be the Champion Child at the Festival of Trees, and got to nominate his favourite tree for the ‘Kid’s Choice Award’.

He chose Seastar Chemicals’ “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed tree, which also happened to voted first overall by all the judges on opening night.

Here’s what it looks like:

Seastar Chemicals’ “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed tree

Your votes help the B.C. Children’s Hospital treat kids like Rowan and help them live a long, healthy life.

So head on over to the Bay Centre and donate to vote for your favourite pick at the Festival of Trees today!

Here’s a video of Rowan’s journey:

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