An Ontario youth with a terminal illness is looking for a place to stay in Vancouver after the cruise ship meant to serve as a floating hotel during the Vancouver Olympics was cancelled.
Mathew Egan, 19, who is suffering from cerebral palsy, was one of the patients planning to stay aboard the Norwegian Star, the cruise liner chartered by Newwest Travel.
His mother, Dale Egan, said the trip to Vancouver sponsored by the non-profit Starlight Children’s Foundation meant a lot to her son.
“How important (is it to Matthew)? On a scale of one to 10? I’d say 100. This has been his wish for as long as I can remember,” she said.
“His life is hockey, he lives and breathes hockey, — it’s all he enjoys.”
A group of children with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, also booked aboard the cruise ship, have been offered accommodation elsewhere after news of the cancellation broke.
Dale said it’ll be harder to help Matthew because he is in a wheelchair and weighs 300 pounds.
“Everybody in the house is either upset or angry or crying, it’s not been fun since we found out,” Dale said.
Starlight B.C. regional co-ordinator Heather Burnett said the organization is working to grant Matthew his wish.
“It will happen. It just boils down to a matter of cost. But that’s an additional $4,000 … we will do it regardless, but it is a really big cut to us, when budgets are already behind,” she said.
Starlight’s annual budget is under $100,000, Burnett added.