Family and friends of man with cancer keep Christmas tree lot in business
Published Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:13PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, December 19, 2013 6:34PM MST
When Kim de Gagne was recently diagnosed with cancer, he feared his health would prompt the closure of the Christmas tree lot he’s operated for the last eight years in McKenzie Towne.
Thanks in part to contributions from Kim friends and family, the southeast shop continues to supply Calgarians with festive trees in the days prior to Christmas.
The 2013 Christmas tree season began for Kim on Grey Cup weekend with business as usual. On December 1, he was rushed to hospital after his kidneys failed. Blood work determined he has multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood and bones.
An estimated 95 per cent of the customers at the McKenzie Towne tree lot, located near the Sobeys, are repeat customers who consider a trip to Kim’s tree lot to be a holiday tradition.
While her husband continues to receive treatment in hospital, Kim’s wife Alanna made calls to friends and family asking for help in running the lot.
Kim's father Alex is helping with tree sales and he’s been amazed by how many of his son’s friends, including Gord Schiele, are willing to give up their time, especially at this time of year.
“It's a friend in need, and this is a wonderful experience to do something like this,” said Schiele. “Money's no object, this is for Kim, and this is to get his trees sold. He's going to be laid up for awhile, and we just want to band together and get this done.”
Kim has been permitted to visit his lot on a six hour pass from the hospital and he has been overwhelmed by the show of support..
Family and friends are hoping the final weekend before Christmas will be busy at the tree lot and the volunteers can sell all of Kim’s remaining trees.
With files from CTV's Kevin Fleming