Siblings Stephen and Theresa McKenzie in front of 1

Operation Daffodil brings joy overnight

Brother places 1,000 flowers on lawn of Saanich home to lift spirits of sister recovering from cancer

At 6 a.m. last Sunday, Theresa McKenzie woke in pain. Just three days post-surgery for colorectal cancer, she was urged by her partner to get up anyway and head downstairs.

Through her living room window, the 40-year-old nurse saw 1,000 daffodils planted in her front yard.

“It was pure beauty,” Theresa said. “Instant love.”

She took her tea outside to enjoy the flowers and didn’t question for long who had left her such a gift.

“I (thought) ‘this has to be my brother’ because he’s such a cool guy,” she said.

She was right.

At 4:30 that morning, her brother, Stephen McKenzie, led the mission he dubbed “Operation Daffodil.”

Under the cover of darkness, Stephen and his team of eight had filled the lawn of his sister’s Tuxedo Road home with blooming daffodils.

“We reviewed the mission at 4 a.m. and we executed it in about 45 minutes,” Stephen said. “She figured out very quickly who the culprit was.”

The daffodils attracted neighbourhood attention and were “the perfect fit” given that April was cancer awareness month, Theresa said. The flowers also hold special significance for the siblings, who grew up next door to a former daffodil farm in Cordova Bay.

“I just wanted her to know that there is a group of people out there who love and support her,” Stephen said.

The McKenzies’ cousin, Heather Vantreight, supplied the daffodils from her family’s Vantreight Farms, which was instrumental in using daffodils to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“My dad (Geoff Vantreight), who passed away of cancer 12 years ago, would have loved this Operation Daffodil,” Vantreight said. “It’s neat for me to see people’s passion for others.”

“I never expected anything like that,” Theresa said. “It was an amazing thing to look out there, to feel the love and the strength. It’s just pure beauty. Pretty special.”

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Canadians spent more than $8 billion on pet-related items in 2017

Fifty-seven per cent of Canadian households own pets

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read