Brave little camper

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | June 12, 2020 1:14 AM

Bonners Ferry boy with cystic fibrosis gets new RV through Make-A-Wish Foundation

POST FALLS — When Jason Poole heard about a little boy with cystic fibrosis who loved camping and wanted an RV, he knew what to do.

“It’s easy to get our team involved in that,” said Poole, director of sales at Blue Dog RV in Post Falls.

Poole was among a group that watched as Christopher Blood reacted with a big smile and wide eyes when told the shiny, new 2020 Hideout RV belonged to him and his family, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Blue Dog RV.

Made by Keystone RV and valued at $22,000, it comes with bunk beds and master bed, refrigerator, kitchen table and seats, EZ tow, electric awning, stabilizing jack and other features.

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“This is a very big happy moment for me,” said Katie Cerny, Christopher’s mom, while dad Christopher Sr. got the rundown on the RV. “Seeing his smile, seeing that he gets something that he really wants, it’s wonderful.”

Post Falls Police Chief Pat Knight, a Make-A-Wish board member, sat in the RV and chatted with Christopher and his friends as they checked it out Thursday morning.

He said Blue Dog provided another RV for a child through the nonprofit program last year and once again stepped up.

“When they reached out to us, we knew the right people to go to,” Knight said. “Blue Dog RV has been phenomenal.”

Christopher, who turned 4 years old this weekend, was having fun playing with toys that came with the RV.

“What’s this?” he said, holding up a package.

A lamp for camping, he was told.

“Cool,” he answered.

Knight was pleased they could bring happiness to the small boy with dark hair who faces his health struggles with courage.

“Christopher is in heaven. He’s loving it,” Knight said.

Poole said they were glad to do what they could. Blue Dog RV preaches benevolence, he said, and likes to be involved in the community.

Seeing Christopher so excited, he said, “to be honest, I get choked up.”

Family friend Megan Fryberger, whose three daughters are Christopher’s best friends, said the RV was “perfect.”

“They deserve it. It will be so awesome. I know they love camping,” she said.

Katie Cerny said Christopher’s interest in RVs developed during visits to his grandparents, who own one and live near the Canadian border.

“Everything about grandpa’s RV is interesting,” she said.

Christopher loves camping, she said, but because he has cystic fibrosis, which affects his lungs and digestive system, he can’t be out more than a night because of his treatments.

When the smoke gets bad in Bonners Ferry, where they live, it’s especially hard on Christopher, she said. So the RV will give them the option to leave and go somewhere safe.

His cystic fibrosis will worsen as he grows older, his mom said.

She described her son as eccentric, stubborn and outgoing, who refuses to let his illness keep him down. He loves “anything with tires.

“He’s a little ray of sunshine in the darkness,” Cerny said. “He’s all happiness almost all the time.”

Cerny said the RV means Christopher, “gets to live more. He gets to do more. There’s no reason we can say no,” she added, pausing as her voice cracked with emotion.

The family isn’t waiting to test out their RV. They headed to Blue Lake RV Resort, just south of Bonners Ferry, for the weekend to celebrate his birthday.

John and Mila Blood, Christopher’s grandparents, were beaming as they watched Christopher explore the RV.

“He’s been dreaming of this,” John Blood said. “It’s all he’s been talking about, getting a camper and going camping.”

Mila circled the RV and recorded Christopher on her phone as he peeked out a window.

“We’re thankful for that,” she said. “It’s a blessing.”

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Post Falls Police Chief Pat Knight talks with Christopher Blood as he checks out his family’s new RV courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Thursday at Blue Dog RV. Christopher is joined by friends Rebecca Fryberger, holding balloon, and Abigail Fryberger.

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BILL BULEY/Press Christopher Blood looks out the door of his family's new RV courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Thursday at Blue Dog RV in Post Falls.

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BILL BULEY/Press Christopher Blood checks out some of his new toys that came with his family's new RV courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Thursday at Blue Dog RV in Post Falls.