Langley girl had three-minutes to snap up any toy she dreamed of

Chemotherapy has reduced the size of a tumour in Talia’s brain stem.

While the left side of her face and her coordination are still impacted, her hearing has returned and she’s able to be more active.

So on Monday, she was rarin’ to go at the Langley Toys ‘R’ Us store which, along with the Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, gave her, her brother Emile, and her parents Marina and Raffi Mahseredjian, a three-minute shopping spree.

It’s been a couple of years since Talia’s diagnosis of an inoperable tumour. Though itis benign, the brain stem tumour has had a huge impact on her tiny body and ultimately the whole family.

“You’re life is on pause, Marina said. “Through organizations like the Starlight Foundation, you’re able to unpause.”

Through the foundation, they’ve been able to enjoy some sports events, kayaking, the aquarium and more. Both Talia, and her nine-year-old brother, Emile, have been to camp and plan to return.

But the shopping spree, called the 30Minute Dash, is a highlight for their kids and an important opportunity to be kids, Marina said.

“Today’s a day to play,” Marina said.

Each dash recipient was randomly selected as part of a contest Starlight held earlier this summer. Families were asked to share the details of their child’s care journey and submit them to their local Starlight programs coordinator for the draw.

The foundation provides experiences to seriously ill children and their families, and started more than 25 years ago.

• Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada

The family had a special helper during the spree, the foundation’s Captain Starlight.

To get ready for the big day the kids made tie-dyed headbands for the family and a pillowcase for Captain Starlight.

The family did scope out the store before the spree to learn the layout and plan some specific purchases and picked up items for others.

“When we did it before and all the people were in the store, we had to mow down some kids,” dad Raffi joked.

“Yup, there were some injures, some lawsuits pending but it was worth it,” mom Marina added.

Talia was chosen to enjoy a three-minute shopping spree. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Starry, the Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, mascot greeted the family. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Talia was chosen to enjoy a three-minute shopping spree. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Staff and mascot Jeffrey shared a light moment before the shopping spree. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Emile, nine, helped his sister, Talia, during the toy shopping spree. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Captain Starlight, of the Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, gave the family a pep talk before the three-minute shopping spree. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Starry and Jeffrey helped with the carts. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Raffi and his son, Emile, took a breather after the shopping spree. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)
Talia took a rest in her dad’s arms after her shopping spree Monday morning. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

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