Boy, 8, With Rare Illness Treated to All-You-Can-Grab Shopping Spree at Toys 'R' Us
A boy battling a rare, life-threatening disease has called himself "the luckiest boy in the world" as he took advantage of an all-you-can-grab shopping spree at a toy store, months after moving away from his family for treatment.
Victor Uluadluak, 8, of Canada had his life turned upside down when he was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia two years ago. He now suffers from kidney failure after complications from a bone marrow transplant.
Originally from Whale Cove, Nunavut — a remote, Inuit-populated hamlet — Victor has since had to leave his family and largely traditional community for Winnipeg, Manitoba, a major city located nearly 900 miles away, for treatment.
He now lives with a foster family, and receives hemodialysis treatments for his kidneys six days a week, for three-and-a-half hour sessions each time.
Victor needs a kidney transplant, but will have to improve his health before he is qualified to join a transplant list.
"It was hard but he's a resilient kid," said Jessica Lizotte, Victor's child life specialist from the Winnipeg Children's Hospital. "Overall, he's really optimistic and goes with the flow."
Because of Victor's poor health, Lizotte said he's unable to visit his family, but continues to communicate with them over the phone and online.
Even with all the change, Victor said, "I feel like the luckiest kid in the world," after he was given the ultimate shopping spree at Toys "R" Us.
Organized by Starlight Children's Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to Canadian children battling serious illnesses, Victor was chosen as one of several children around the country to be gifted a "3-Minute Dash", where he can run through Toys "R" Us, grabbing all the toys he can get.
To prepare, Lizotte told InsideEdition.com they first came up with a shopping list of all the toys Victor wanted.
"His top choice was a Wii U," Lizotte said. Toward the top of his list were also a build-it-yourself robot, and Nerf guns.
The day before the big all-you-can-grab event, Lizotte said he and his foster family were given a practice run at the store, where Victor could look around the store and figure out the fastest routes, and map out where all his favorite toys were located.
On the day of the run, Victor hopped into a shopping cart, pushed by the Starlight Children's Foundation mascot. He was followed closely by his two foster parents when the whistle was blown, and he was given the go-ahead to start grabbing all his favorite toys.
"He was a little overwhelmed at first," Lizotte told InsideEdition.com. "He doesn't have a whole lot of stamina. He was tired a little bit, but he was ready for action."
In total, Victor was able to take home around $2,300 in toys and other goodies. Out of them, Lizotte said he's now picking out different toys to send his brothers back home.