Mom June and 4-year-old Angelina “Angel” Lunn smiles while in the mini-castle during K-Days daily mini-parade on the midway on Saturday July 22, 2017. Photo by Northlands

It’s 5:45 p.m. and it’s a beehive of activity behind Hall A of the Edmonton EXPO Centre. Susan Bolseng, Volunteer Services and Community Relations Coordinator, explains as she hustles to get everyone organized before the 6 p. m. start, “Northlands offers an opportunity for Make A Wish Northern Alberta families to be our special guest for a full-day at K-Days ending with our mini parade every day of the 10-days.” Bolseng stops for a second after watching four-year-old Angelina Lunn, her sister, her mom and dad walk up the ramp into the mini-castle, “The families are so strong and incredible, the children are so resilient, it’s amazing to see the smiles.” And the parade has not even started yet.

The past four year has not been easy for the Lunn family as dad explains, “We were in the hospital the first 11-months of her life.” Little “Angel” for short, was born three months early, “She was only one pound 14 ounces at birth. First she was intubated, then the doctors had to put in a trach (tracheotomy). After that she had to have another surgery to have a G-tube (gastrostomy tube) put into her stomach to supply her with food. Luke looks down, scratches his head and continues, “She had so many complications and close calls, she’s lucky to be alive.” After nearly a year the Lunn’s were able to take her home; but not alone, “She was on a monitor every night with a nurse at home all-night every night.” Breaking a smile, Lunn is very grateful for everything, “It’s great of Northlands, I could not believe that we had the opportunity to come out and enjoy the whole day, parking, passes to the grounds, all you can ride and now the parade, at no cost to us.”

The music has started and the parade is almost ready to go, but not before Bolseng get the last word, “Despite what these families have to go through, they keep their spirits up. It is just awesome that Northlands gives back to the community. Many people do not realize just how much we do. Every day I have tears in my eyes.”

Editors note; There is also room on other mini-parade floats for children 3-12 years old, whose birthdays fall between July 21 and 30 to experience the full K-Days Birthday VIP treatment along with the siblings and friends. Full details can be found here; www.k-days.com/events/mini-parade

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