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Diagnosis would be the best gift of all

Dec 11 2012
Rachel and Bruce Steinberg with their kids: Elizabeth O'Connor, 5, Donovon O'Connor, 7,  and in the back is Shi-Anne Martin, 15. 

Rachel and Bruce Steinberg with their kids: Elizabeth O'Connor, 5, Donovon O'Connor, 7, and in the back is Shi-Anne Martin, 15.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , Times Colonist

What does seven-year-old Donovon want for Christmas? Anything to do with hockey.

But most of all, he wants a tummy that's not continually upset.

For Victoria's Steinberg family, the past few years have been difficult. In January 2011, Rachael Steinberg's husband Bruce was struck by a car at a crosswalk. Due to back injuries, he can no longer stand for long periods, making it impossible for him to continue as a line cook.

Meanwhile, Rachael's teenage daughter Shi-Anne was so badly bullied at school, police had to be called. Now she's timid about leaving the house at night.

The Steinbergs are still trying to determine what's causing Donovon's chronic bowel problem. On bad days it is so severe, he will visit the bathroom 27 times.

"He's had explosive diarrhea for four years," said Steinberg, 32, who works part time for U-Haul as a customer service representative.

The family has visited B.C. Children's Hospital several times. Donovon underwent multiple tests that proved inconclusive.

"Now we're seeing a local surgeon who's hopefully going to give us some answers," Steinberg said. Next week the boy will be admitted to Victoria General Hospital for testing.

Donovon loves hockey, but his medical condition prohibits him from playing the sport he loves. One of his prized possessions is a jersey presented to him by the Victoria Royals hockey team.

"He lived in that thing for two months," his mother said. "I had to pry it off him for school."

Money is tight for the Steinberg family, with Rachael working only part-time and her disabled husband looking after the children. That's why they turned to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund for help.

While Donovon hopes for "anything hockey" for Christmas, the best gift of all would be a diagnosis of his medical condition.

"We were hoping for some answers before Christmas, because it's Dec. 19 when he goes into hospital. And it'd also be a gift for me," his mother said.


- Go online to timescolonist.com

- Call 250-995-4438, 8: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

- Mail or drop off in person at the Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, V8W 2N4

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