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Helping the Brien Family

The holiday season is often a busy one. Time is split between friends and family as we see those we love most. However, for the Brien Family, their time has been split a little differently this holiday.

Three-month-old Ocea Brien has been hospitalized at B.C. Children’s Hospital since her birth in late August 2021.

She has faced a number of diagnoses since her birth including Trisomy 21 (a form of Down Syndrome), Duodenal Atresia (improperly developed bowels), and Atrioventricular septal defect (ASVD, a congenital heart defect affecting atrial and ventricular septa and adjoining valves).

When she was just two days old, Ocea had surgery on her intestine. She was scheduled to have the holes in her heart repaired when she became unwell. It was at this time she was also diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (a disease of the intestine) which will require additional surgeries. Until these surgeries are completed, the surgery for Ocea’s heart cannot move forward.

Justin and his wife, Renee, are on leave to take care of Ocea and their six-year-old son, Taiyo. Split between their home in Salmon Arm and the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, it’s been tough for the last few months with a few more ahead if Ocea’s surgeries are successful.

Quantus Mortgage Solutions broker, Chad Eliason, has known the Brien’s for years. He was able to visit Justin and Taiyo at B.C. Children’s Hospital, delivering a few Community Key bears and hats for the family.

Two men stand in front of Christmas display with young boy sitting in the middle, holding a teddy bear | Community Key
Left to Right: Quantus broker, Chad Eliason, with Taiyo Brien (brother) and Justin Brien.

“I have known Justin and his family for years,” says Chad. “Justin is a great guy that always tries to help others. He runs a monthly lunchtime guys club at the high school to help students deal with mental health issues—he is making a difference. The ability to make a difference in people’s lives is amazing. Justin is very grateful and [this donation] is going to make the holidays a lot easier for his family.”

“Thank you so much for your help. We would love to be able to share our story and give some families hope and peace knowing there are organizations out there like this that help out in times of need."

- Justin Brien

We hope that our donation is able to help alleviate some of the burdens this holiday for the Brien’s. And while we know this time of year is not what the family expected, it is still incredibly full of love—which is what this season is all about.

Thank you to all who have donated and nominated families this past year! We are always striving to help more deserving families like the Brien’s. Reach out to help or nominate a deserving family here.


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