Clothes for cancer

On Saturday, Lea-Ann Dorval is selling all of her artwork to raise money for a sick child. A month ago, her three-year-old nephew was diagnosed with Wilms' tumour, a childhood cancer of the kidneys.

On Saturday, Lea-Ann Dorval is selling all of her artwork to raise money for a sick child.

A month ago, her three-year-old nephew was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour, a childhood cancer of the kidneys.

“I am trying to do this one last sale because I need to get down to Vancouver to help my family,” said Dorval, a clothing designer, visual artist and cook based in Marsh Lake.

It’s never a good time for a child to be diagnosed with cancer, but it comes at a particularly bad time for her brother’s family.

“They’ve had a pretty rough financial year, and then with this happening, they just need help from their family, as much as they can,” she said.

Wilms’ tumour is common, as far as childhood cancers go, and, if caught early, it’s easily treated.

Unfortunately for her nephew Oscar, it wasn’t discovered early enough.

“His grandpa found a little lump in his tummy, and his dad took him straight to emergency,” said Dorval. “That was on a Sunday, and Monday morning they were on a ferry over to Vancouver.

“By Friday they removed the kidney.”

A week later, they learned it was too late. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and lungs.

He still has a chance, but Oscar now has to endure a harsh regime of chemotherapy and radiation. A daunting prospect for anyone, let alone a three-year-old boy.

“There really isn’t anything anybody can do,” said Dorval. “But at least we can try to make sure they don’t have to worry about where their rent is going to come from.”

The sale is Saturday at Maggie T’s.

It includes some original paintings, but it’s mostly clothes and accessories that Dorval designed.

And almost everything is half price.

“All my designs are one-of-a-kind,” she said. “I have everything from long formal evening gowns to skirts and sun dresses, lined winter coats, hats, purses and jewelry. “Basically anything you can imagine in the clothing department, I have.”

All the proceeds will go to her brother, who has had to relocate from Gibsons, BC, to Vancouver for his son’s treatment.

“He’s there 24/7,” she said. “The reality is that cancer hits families in every area.”

Dorval comes from a big family with seven siblings.

Her brother, an actor, is the only other artist in the family.

Helping him with her own art is something special, said Dorval.

“He and I have been pulling each others asses out of a sling for years,” she said. “I’ve got all this artwork and sometimes it pays the bills and sometimes it doesn’t, but maybe I can liquidate it all and it’ll pay some of his bills.”

The sale is this Saturday from 10 – 5 p.m. at Maggie T’s, 121 Hillcrest Drive.

Contact Josh Kerr at

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