An Okotoks family has had to put their local business on the back burner after an earth-shattering diagnosis.
Kolton Byerley, a 13-year-old Okotokian, had been experiencing severe headaches and eventually noticed vision issues in one of his eyes.
A scan revealed a golf ball-sized tumour in his brain, and surgery was booked for the following day.
Following the eight-hour surgery, Kolton has been experiencing Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome (CMS), a side effect known to develop in children in the days after surgery for these kinds of tumours.
It affects speech and motor function, with Kolton having lost his ability to speak, as well as the use of his legs and hand movements.
He's since been undergoing physiotherapy and speech therapy, with children often recovering from the effects of CMS.
It has also been determined that the tumour was cancerous.
His parents Rae-Lynn and Sean, who own Yoneek Books on McRae St., have been providing updates on Kolton via the business' Facebook page.
They've been seeing support from family members who have been helping to keep the book store open while Rae-Lynn stays with Kolton full-time and Sean runs the admin side of the business and spends time at home with their older son, Weston.
Luckily, Kolton has been able to communicate, even with the inability to speak.
"He's still not speaking but he has found ways to communicate with us. For a long time, we used his feet, one foot was yes and the other was no. He was really good at letting us know what and when he needs stuff. It's a bit of a guessing game as you can understand, with him not being able to just say 'I need this,'" says Rae-Lynn.
Her time as an education assistant having worked with non-verbal students has also been a big help.
"He's in there, he's a very intelligent boy. It shows in the games we play, we play cards and stuff and he's still there."
Their updates have seen a tremendous response from community members, who have been cheering Kolton on.
Rae-Lynn says it's done a lot to lift their spirits.
"The second we closed down, we had a lot of concern, and when we made the post, we've had nothing but people supporting us. People coming out and sharing their stories of the same kind of tumours or different tumours, sharing their stories. It's very heartwarming because we know we're not alone and we know there's success. Even people that haven't been through that tough time, they have opened their hearts and are just extremely supportive."
Community members have also been popping into the store to show some financial support, and to pass on well wishes.