Ste. Rose du Lac family visiting Winnipeg for young son's cancer treatment loses home to blaze
Published Thursday, May 3, 2012 6:46PM CST
A family from Ste. Rose du Lac who had been in Winnipeg for months with their two-year-old son battling leukemia has lost its house in a fire.
In 2011, Larsen Brunel was diagnosed with leukemia and had to undergo treatments including chemotherapy and spinal taps.
Last month, he seemed to be on the road to recovery. His sister Miley was deemed a perfect match for a bone-marrow transplant, but hopes were dashed when he suffered a relapse.
"We were very devastated last Tuesday and we went home to try to recharge – Larsen and Erin hadn't been home since Christmas time," said Rob Brunel.
A few days later, however, Larsen's condition forced him and his parents Rob and Erin to return to hospital in Winnipeg.
While they were in the city, a fire ripped through their home.
"Our house was completely destroyed within 20 minutes," said Rob Brunel.
The only things salvaged were some photos.
Despite everything the family has been through, its focus has remained strong.
"We're upset about our home, but we're still focusing on getting Larsen better and coaching Miley through the fact that she's going to give her brother a very special gift, which is bone marrow, and everything else can be replaced," said Erin Brunel.
Community members have also offered up support for the family, and their story has drawn attention in the U.S. with Anderson Cooper's staff contacting the Brunels.
The family is now hoping for the bone marrow transplant to go ahead at the end of the month. They also plan to rebuild their home in Ste. Rose.
Two-year-old Larsen (right) is shown with his dad Rob Brunel.