Wills

Co-pilot Wills Hodgkinson, 8, of Penticton looks over a Rolls Royce along with driver Stacy Allen (they were not in the Rolls) during the Okanagan Dream Car Rally in 2018.

Be careful with your donations, says the mother of a local boy who’s in a high-profile battle with cancer.

Neeley Brimer says she had trouble tapping into the $18,000 raised in 2018 through a GoFundMe account meant to cover expenses associated with medical care for her nine-year-old son, Wills Hodgkinson, who is back in B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

And she claims a new GoFundMe account created last year after the cancer returned, and which had raised nearly $13,000 as of Tuesday, is also going directly to father Tim Hodgkinson, according to Brimer, who has been separated from him since 2016.

“You need to be very wary about where this money is going,” she said in a phone interview.

Brimer’s friends have now set up a third GoFundMe account earmarked for her alone that’s titled: “Neeley Needs You Now.”

 “That was primarily set up because of what Tim did last time, but also because I don’t … enjoy putting things like this public,” she explained.

As an example, Brimer continued, she rented a place in Vancouver to stay while Wills was undergoing treatment, but was not reimbursed the expense, while Hodgkinson stayed in the family’s room at the no-cost Ronald McDonald House.

Hodgkinson confirmed in an interview that Brimer didn’t get half the funds as was originally agreed, but said that’s because Brimer didn’t submit receipts for expenses as required to a friend of his who was serving as administrator.

That $18,000, he continued, was spent on medical expenses, plus to rent a home for him and his two kids in Naramata.

Wills is battling a rare form of cancer called Wilms’ Tumour.

Hodgkinson has set now up a website promoting the Wilms Cancer Foundation of North America. The website states the organization is devoted to promoting awareness of the disease. Hodgkinson said the foundation is still awaiting charitable status.