Ella-Ray Lewis in her bedroom, following the transformation made possible through Make-A-Wish Canada (formerly Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada). (Contributed photo)

Ella-Ray Lewis in her bedroom, following the transformation made possible through Make-A-Wish Canada (formerly Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada). (Contributed photo)

Surrey teen battling skin cancer has miracle wish granted, sparkles and all

Make-A-Wish challenge adds luxury sparkle to Ella-Ray Lewis’ bedroom

This month, Black Press Media has teamed up with Make-A-Wish and BraveFace to help grant wishes, one mask purchase at a time. Here’s one wish that was granted through the Make-A-Wish B.C. and Yukon chapter…

A South Surrey girl who wished five years ago for a magical visit with mermaids is basking in a sea of comfort these days, after officials with the wish-granting Make-A-Wish charity challenged her to “think outside the box.”

Ella-Ray Lewis said this week that she didn’t realize when she switched her wish – granted due to her ongoing battle with an aggressive skin cancer – last fall to a dream bedroom instead of a trip, just how perfect the move would turn out to be.

“Once I got it, I was very happy at the time, I had just got out of an operation and was in recovery,” Ella-Ray said by email Monday (Dec. 14). “I had many ideas on what to do with my wish.

“Now I am so glad I chose to give my bedroom a makeover because at the time when I made my wish I didn’t know that (there) would be such thing as COVID-19. And I do online school now, so I’m so glad that I have a beautiful room to do my online school in.”

It was Christmastime 13 years ago when Ella-Ray first captured hearts on the Semiahmoo Peninsula and beyond. A photo of Ella-Ray, who was born with a rare skin condition, in her dad Craig’s arms at a community event set off a chain of goodwill that has continued to this day; from fundraisers and gifts of baby formula to princess parties and more.

READ MORE: Party of a lifetime for South Surrey girl

Now in Grade 8 at Semiahmoo Secondary, she was first introduced to Peace Arch News readers when she was 16 months old, after a former classmate of her dad’s decided to organize a fundraiser to help the family.

In the years since, the precocious-toddler-turned-teenager has undergone 71 operations – the majority of which have been steps to deal with her skin cancer; removing diseased skin and implanting bags to grow new skin. There have also been a series of procedures to correct a curvature in her spine that was diagnosed just before her seventh birthday.

The latter operations wrapped up in September 2019, while the next round of surgeries to tackle the remaining diseased skin – in which bags will again be implanted under her skin to grow new skin, then refilled every week for 16 weeks – is anticipated to get underway in the new year, after father and daughter receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Because of COVID, we’re just kind of on a hold,” Craig Lewis said.

READ MORE: Canada gives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

In the meantime, Ella-Ray is enjoying what her dad describes as “the best wish ever.” It arrived just before summer and “10 years from now, it’s a big girl’s dream bedroom, too,” he said.

The new decor is the all-white, Michael Amini Sky Tower collection – a bed with illuminated headboard, a dresser with lighted mirror, a chest of drawers and night stand. A computer desk, printer and other details were added with the help of friends, and for the holidays, Ella-Ray has strung up sparkling Christmas lights.

The 13-year-old said she chose a white theme because she “wanted my room to look more open, bigger and light.” Previously, it had a blue, ocean theme, she said.

Her dad said the added comfort will be especially appreciated when the next round of surgeries begins, as Ella-Ray will be spending a lot more time at home again.

Lewis said he reached out to Peace Arch News this month because this is the same time of year that Ella-Ray’s story began, and he wanted to share how far she has come, as well as the details of her wish finally coming true.

He also wanted to thank the community again for helping his family weather the journey.

“And all this started back at this time 13 years ago, at the London Drugs, where the guy was shaking the bells and sent me down to the (Christmas event),” he said.

“I’d love to let everyone know all the help that came out of White Rock/South Surrey and all these fundraising people. They all really need a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Ella-Ray.”


Critically ill kids put on a Brave Face every day. Now you can, too, in support of Make-A-Wish.

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions, and we invite you to join us in helping children’s wishes come true. Click here to buy your masks today!

By purchasing a pack of three masks designed and manufactured right here in British Columbia for children, youth and adults, you’ll be supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.

Make-A-WishSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ella-Ray Lewis, from May 2008 to March 2014.

Ella-Ray Lewis, from May 2008 to March 2014.

Just Posted

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Younger Princeton residents are now being urged to register for a vaccination notification. (Black Press Media photo)
Princeton lags behind in vaccination rates

Approximately 24 per cent of residents here have received their first dose

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Hanoi 36 owner Michael Vu hopes to open Weekends Restaurant & Lounge this summer in the former Chicken Direct location on Alexander Street. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Business: Salmon Arm restaurateur working for the Weekends

Hanoi 36 owner Michael Vu to open new downtown izakaya-inspired restaurant

Kelowna RCMP are investigating a robbery that happened over the weekend.	(Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
RCMP searching for suspect after armed robbery at Kelowna gas station

Police were unable to locate a man after he allegedly robbed a business on Highway 33 W

(Black Press Media file)
Mounties investigate downtown Kelowna group assault

Police said the incident happened at the Queensway bus loop on May 8

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

(Westside Road Community Road Reports/Facebook)
Fire near West Kelowna resort now under control

According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire is nearly out

Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail ownership partners were awarded a grant for $250,000 to support construction of a pilot section of trail. (Shuswap Trail Alliance photo)
Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail pilot project to start this year

Grant funding received for section of trail in Enderby, Splatsin territory

Police watchdog find Salmon Arm RCMP have no involvement in head-on collision. (File photo)
Police watchdog finds Salmon Arm RCMP not involved in Highway 1 crash

Woman seriously injured on April 22 after head-on collision

Most Read