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Website for Hannah Day overhauled amid fundraising row

A trust fund and a remodelled website have been set up for four-year-old cancer patient Hannah Day of Langford, following allegations a volunteer might have mishandled funds.
Despite another round of chemo at B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver, Hannah Day smiles while held by her mother Brooke Ervin.

A trust fund and a remodelled website have been set up for four-year-old cancer patient Hannah Day of Langford, following allegations a volunteer might have mishandled funds.

“We want to take on the role of administrating the trust and website so the family can focus all their energy on Hannah,” said Bruce Brown, a retired RCMP officer who was asked to look after funds raised by the Victoria Grizzlies hockey team.

Hannah and her mom Brooke Ervin are in Vancouver at B.C. Children’s Hospital, where the toddler is awaiting a stem-cell transplant.

After winning a 16-month battle with a rare form of cancer, Hannah’s family was told last month she had leukemia. Community support for the little girl has poured in, with thousands of dollars raised through the website and community events.

Ervin said she became aware of possible problems on Friday when a woman mentioned she’d made a donation to the website

“She asked if we’d received it, and I didn’t remember anything.”

The woman supplied Ervin with her Visa bill, where there is a PayPal charge for $100. Beside the charge is the fundraiser’s name.

Ervin said she went to the website,, and found that some of the PayPal links on the site went to the PayPal account for Hannah, while others went to the fundraiser’s account.

Ervin said she talked to the fundraiser who told her it was all a mistake and gave her some money. Since the problem became public, the woman has returned even more money, which Ervin said now totals about $2,000.

“The story keeps on changing ... It doesn’t add up,” said Ervin.

Ervin said the woman offered to build the website for free 18 months ago when Hannah’s fight was first made public. Donations came in frequently, both through PayPal and by mail. But after a recent media appearance about the need for a stem-cell donor for Hannah, Ervin said she received few donations.

Victoria Police Sgt. Derek Tolmie confirmed police were recently contacted by Hannah’s parents. “We have identified a person of interest,” who is allegedly involved in fundraising for Hannah’s family, he said.

The woman told CTV Vancouver Island that the problem was a coding glitch and a mistake. On her Facebook page she wrote that she planned to step back from the website and said: “In my defence, and those who know me will know that these accusations are not true. A mistake was made. I tried to . . . correct it. Actually I did correct it. But I will let the chips fall where they may. I have family and friends who love me, believe in me and know the truth of all that entailed.”

When Tim Davis, a contract web designer for Islandnet, heard about the dispute, he brought it to the attention of Islandnet owner Steve Morley, who agreed to host and manage the fundraising website for free. Davis said the previous webmaster has been helpful in turning over the site.

“She clearly wants to help this along,” said Davis, who beat kidney cancer himself at six months old. His daughter also beat cancer at age 14. “We know how horrible it is to have a really sick kid with cancer,” said Davis. “But now she’s clean and a mother herself,” he said of his daughter.

Davis said any donations that come to the website will be directed to the Hannah Day Trust Fund at Island Savings Credit Union. The account already holds $3,700 from one Grizzlies home game and $500 from a bottle drive. The hockey team will donate to the fund $5 from every $12 home game ticket sold, with a goal of $5,000 raised per game, with nine left in the season.

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This is a corrected version of this story.