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

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Sadie, a long-term care resident at Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat was among those who got the COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination clinic held Thursday (Jan. 21). Northern Health photo
Mountainview Lodge gets first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines

The first vaccination clinic was held Thursday (Jan. 21)

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Haisla Nation Council photo
COVID-19 vaccine supply delayed for Kitamaat Village

Supply could not be guaranteed for the Village with the current national Pfizer-BioNTech shortage

Bus routes for CMSD82 students in Cablecar and Kitamaat Village have been temporarily changed for Jan. 21 and 22. (Black Press file photo)
Temporary school bus route changes for Cablecar, Kitamaat Village

The two routes will be combined for Jan. 21 and 22 due to a bus driver shortage

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Most Read