Skip to content

Supporters of aspiring Cowichan chef cook up fundraiser after his rare cancer diagnosis

Cole Little’s sore back was actually caused by the same cancer that afflicted Terry Fox
Cole Little and his mom, Cindy Little. Cole is battling Osteosarcoma. (Submitted)

A young Cowichan man’s life was turned upside down after learning just prior to his 21st birthday last January that he had a rare form of cancer: osteosarcoma. Now friends of that man and his family are stepping up to make sure he gets the support he needs.

Cole Little had left his family home in Cobble Hill at 20 years old to pursue his dream of being a chef. He’d trained at Vancouver Island University and was working at the Cobblestone Pub, Unsworth Winery and most recently the Hotel Pan Pacific in Vancouver but his sights were set much higher.

“He had dreams of traveling to Italy to further hone his craft,” said family friend Kathy Neeves, who has organized a fundraiser to support Little. “Cole was ready to take on the world!”

His plans were all on track until he received the devastating news that his sore back was actually caused by the same cancer that afflicted Terry Fox.

Little was forced to shelve his culinary goals to focus on this new unexpected challenge.

“Cole’s new journey began with a lengthy course of chemotherapy to shrink a very large tumor so that surgery could become viable,” explained Neeves. “The extensive surgery occurred in early October [2022] and was extremely invasive with the left side of his pelvic bone being removed, along with his tailbone. Ligaments and muscles needed to be attached to the remaining hip bone. Following the surgery, infection set in and he has had to endure high doses of antibiotics and follow-up surgeries.”

Having turned 22 this past January, Little has already endured three months in hospital, an incredibly painful recovery, and there’s still so much farther to go.

“He will move to GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre for further rehabilitation when he is ready,” Neeves noted. “At this point, he can barely move but he is making progress.”

Neeves said it will take approximately two years for Little to fully heal and he will require a cane for the rest of his life.

Neeves has organized the fundraiser to help Little, his parents Ron and Cindy, and his sister Ali better support him in his recovery the next two years.

He’ll need funds for expensive leg braces and a customized wheelchair that can properly support him given the removal of his tailbone and left pelvic bone, Neeves explained. He’ll also have living expenses he’ll need help taking care of.

Thus far, 124 donations have raised more than $21,000 toward a $50,000 goal.

To donate to Cole Little visit:

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
Read more