File photo

Thief steals Castlegar family’s Easter gifts

Castlegar mom battling cancer disheartened when thief steals children’s gifts.

Four Castlegar children hunting Easter treasures had a big surprise waiting for them at the end of their search — instead of a visit from the Easter Bunny, it looked like there had been a visit from the Grinch.

On Saturday, Krystal Sneddon set up an Easter obstacle course for her kids. She hid gifts at the end of the course in a small fort the kids made near their home.

The kids happily skipped through hopscotch, leap frog and running challenges. But when they arrived at the spot where they expected to find treasures — there was nothing.

At some point in the 15 minutes the gifts were left unattended, someone stole the cache of perfume, an iTunes gift card, a bubble blower and a bracelet maker.

Sneddon’s kids, aged six, nine, 10 and 13, were devastated.

“It was so disheartening,” said Sneddon. “The kids were having so much fun.”

Sneddon said the thief must have taken the time to spray the perfume, because the scent was still in the air.

Sneddon is trying to turn the difficult experience into a learning opportunity for her family.

“What I hope they take from this is that when they are teenagers they remember this and don’t do something like this to someone else,” she said.

“It was such a happy thing, they enjoyed it so much and then it was just like the wind was taken out of their sails. But they will learn from this and they will become better people.”

This isn’t the only battle Sneddon and her family are facing at the moment. Sneddon was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer last June and has already gone through radiation and chemo therapy. Her cancer has spread since then and she is facing more tests and treatments.

But she has a lot of people rooting for her.

“The support I have had from the local communities in the area has been absolutely overwhelming,” said Sneddon.

COVID-19 has also made things more difficult for her as people with compromised immune systems are advised to be extra careful.

Sneddon is doing everything she can to stay home and avoid other people, but she still has to go to the hospital two or three days a week for chemo, doctors’ appointments and lab tests.

Sneddon says having to go to the hospital, where people with COVID-19 or some other virus may be arriving for treatment or testing, is concerning.

She is timing her lab visits for the time of day set aside for immune-compromised people, but is always happier when the waiting room is completely empty.

No matter what trial she is facing, Sneddon is endeavouring to try and make the best of it.

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