Jazlynn (“Jazzy”) Drummond, 8, with her parents, Claudia and Keith, at Zajac Ranch for Children in a video produced by the charitable organization.

Surrey family cherishes camp backed by restaurant’s special day

Drummond sisters have twice enjoyed Zajac Ranch for Children

Camping was one of Claudia Drummond’s greatest childhood memories, so she’s thrilled both her kids are able to enjoy the experience, too.

With her youngest daughter, that wasn’t always a sure thing.

Jazlynn Drummond, 8, has special needs, yet she has twice been to Zajac Ranch for Children at Stave Lake, near Mission.

The camp is a special place for all kids, including Jazzy’s older sister, Alex, who just turned 12.

The Sullivan-area sisters were excited to attend the camp last summer, and they returned there a couple of weeks ago.

“Last year it was Jazzy’s first time away from home overnight, ever,” Claudia explained. “We were worried, so that’s why we wanted her sister to go with her, which they allowed, thankfully.”

Jazzy had a great time, it turns out, and her parents, Claudia and Keith, are thankful for the opportunity.

“She’s with me or her dad all the time, so she never gets to build that sense of independence at all,” Claudia said. “When she goes to this camp, she does things like ride a horse, and was so proud of herself. You know, ‘Mommy, mommy! I rode a horse!’ Every kid needs that sense of accomplishment and independence. She did it, and didn’t need help.”

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

Every year at this time, Zajac Ranch for Children benefits from White Spot’s Pirate Pak Day. On Wednesday (Aug. 15) at 65 of the chain’s restaurants in B.C. and Alberta, $2 from the sale of every Pirate Pak will be donated to the organization that runs the camp, a getaway for kids and young adults with life-threatening illnesses and chronic disabilities.

• RELATED STORY: Eat like a pirate on Aug. 15.

Jazzy lives with a genetic disorder called Noonan syndrome, which involves heart defects, bleeding disorders, developmental delays and malformations of the rib cage.

”It’s the most common syndrome people have never heard of — that’s it’s official designation,” Claudia said.

“It’s not very well known. there are different strains of it, and with eating, she (Jazzy) can’t eat orally at all, and most of the kids can by this age. So far, her heart has been really good, luckily. There are different severities of it.”

The Drummond family is featured in a 90-second “Camper Spotlight” video produced by Zajac Ranch for Children.

“It can be challenging to be her caretaker — you don’t get a lot of sleep — so I was more concerned how the staff would do, I was not concerned about her at all,” Claudia says in the video.

“It’s well known, and they have a lot of experience dealing with kids with special needs, and after talking to the staff when we dropped them off, you know, they knew exactly what to do when I gave them the rundown.”

Dad Keith, who built a train that transports campers to and from the lake, echoed his wife’s thoughts.

“Being here with her, which is not an opportunity every parent gets to do, I’ve seen her ride the horses and go in the kayak and canoe and whatnot, and do things she normally would say no to — ‘I don’t want to do it’ — and I think because the other kids are here supporting her, and the staff especially, she did these things,” Keith says in the video.

“She was shooting a bow, you know, which she’d never do before, so yeah, it gave her the opportunity to do things with other children, you know, that she normally says, ‘No, I don’t want to do that.’”

To date, White Spot has raised more than $660,000 for Zajac Ranch for Children and sent more than 400 kids to camp, the Vancouver-based company says.

This is the ninth year of Pirate Pak Day, which includes an “Adult” version of the popular meal for kids.

Claudia said the Drummond family loves going to restaurants such as White Spot, despite Jazzy’s eating concerns.

“The thing with Jazzy, sometimes it’s challenging to go eat at a restaurant, but she wants to be included and participate in all the fun stuff her sister gets to do,” her mom noted. “If her sister gets a Pirate Pak, she’ll want the boat, too, and all the toys or whatever, just not the food. It’s challenging for her but we do take her out to restaurants and she can colour in the colouring books and still be involved that way.”

 

Just Posted

Surrey’s mayor-elect McCallum has big promises to keep

From estimated 337, 289 eligible voters in Surrey, 109,791 votes were cast for 32.5 per cent turnout

SURREY FIRST, burst: How the ruling slate earned just one council seat

Mayor Linda Hepner thinks another ‘entity’ will replace her slate

Early morning crash in Surrey on Sunday sends three to hospital

Traffic crash at 4 a.m. at 152nd and 88th Avenue. Police say intersection closed for “some time.”

THE VICTORY: Doug McCallum is Surrey’s mayor once again

Safe Surrey Coalition has huge night, taking all of city council but one seat

THE DEFEAT: Tom Gill concedes to Doug McCallum in Surrey mayoral race

Only one Surrey First candidate, Linda Annis, has been elected to city council

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Most Read