An outpouring of support for a big-hearted Penticton boy has prompted his mom to try and do something special for him.
Ethan Thorpe,10, decided to use his savings to buy his grandmother a family tree pendant (Western News, Dec. 22) and spend Christmas with her instead of at home opening his own presents.
It was the his first Christmas without his grandfather, Gary Wright of Langley, who died on Good Friday and Ethan felt it was important he be with grandma at her place.
According to Ethan’s mother Rosie, there was an “overwhelming” response from people who read about his act of kindness, many of whom are strangers, wanting to buy Ethan an Xbox which is what he had been saving for before deciding to get the pendant.
Unknown to Ethan at the time was that his parents had decided to buy him the Xbox after learning what he planned.
“So I casually asked him if there was something else he would like and at first he wanted to have access to the best trampoline park in the world anytime he wanted,” recalled Rosie with a laugh. “I told him that’s a little bit unrealistic and can we dial that down a little bit and he said: ‘Yeah go to Disneyland with my brother Marcus.’”
According to mom, the two boys are inseparable due largely in part to Marcus’ autism which he was diagnosed with in 2016 at the age of three.
Rosie didn’t have the heart to tell Ethan the family could not afford the trip so instead, reluctantly, decided to start a Flight Centre fund (https://cws.givex.com/cws/flightcentre_registry/consumer/registry/view_registry.py?registry_id:748506658) called Ethan’s Gift where people can donate to the trip.
“It’s hard because I haven’t worked since Marcus was diagnosed and because I kind of feel like I’m asking for things I shouldn’t but there were just so many people who wanted to do something for Ethan,” said Rosie. “I should be able to do it without having to ask anyone else but we just can’t.”
Marcus’ condition has to date prevented the family from doing any serious travelling however they recently did an airport experience session in Kelowna that included boarding a plane and all seemed to enjoy it.
One of Ethan’s prized possessions is a pair of Mickey Mouse ears with his name on it that sits on the living room stereo that was brought back from Disneyland by a friend.
“Just the fact that people want to recognize him for being selfless and for an act of kindness that’s great and I think that I have to let go of my guilt,” said Rosie.