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Container Brewing crafts special suds for Coquitlam actor's mom

On June 16, Tyler Johnston, a Pinetree Secondary grad, and Container Brewing will release a limited-edition beer in honour of his mom who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

About a year ago, Coquitlam actor Tyler Johnston had wrapped up the final season of Letterkenny and said goodbye to his character Stewart when he got some shocking news.

His mother, Lynn, had leukemia.

Acute myelogenous leukemia, to be specific: a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.

For the next eight months, Johnston and his younger sister Kelsey, a nurse, became quick studies of the incurable disease, taking their mother — a former Westwood Plateau resident who now calls Mission home — to medical appointments, meeting with doctors and donating blood and platelets.

“We were very focused in on what we could control,” Johnston told the Tri-City News on Thursday, May 16, “because so much was happening all at once.”

To stay healthy and fight cancer, Lynn Johnston underwent chemotherapy and regular blood and platelet transfusions, which her son said has since improved her quality of life.

On June 16, the Pinetree Secondary graduate and Container Brewing of Vancouver will release a limited-edition beer in honour of Lynn Johnston, a charitable project aimed at building awareness about the urgent need for blood and platelets for patients across Canada.

Called Lynn’s Lite Lager and crafted with four ingredients — water, malt, hops and yeast — the drink label features a steering wheel to pay tribute to the Mission Raceway that she rides nearly every Friday in her Chevrolet Chevelle. The label also highlights a hummingbird and eagle to represent the wildlife she sees around her garden at home.

The special suds will be served at the launch party at Container (1216 Franklin St., Vancouver) with DJs from Eastblvd Records spinning the tunes from 3 to 9 p.m.

The food trucks Mom’s Grilled Cheese and Pretty Good Sandwiches will also be on site while staff with the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) will offer education and register donors for times to give later in their communities.

According to CBS, it can take up to eight donors a week to help a single patient.

At the event, which officially starts at 1 p.m. and includes a guest appearance by Tyler Johnston, Container will donate 10 per cent of all beer sold on June 16 — plus $1 from every Lynn’s Lager sold — to her charity of choice.

And for supporters not able to attend, the brewery will have a link on its website to pre-order for pick-up.

Tyler Johnston said he’s grateful for Container's collaboration to raise funds and press the need for blood and platelet donations.

“It’s good that we’re making something positive out of this,” he said.

To book an appointment to donate blood, visit the CBS website.

Tyler Johnston, who was raised in Coquitlam and graduated from Pinetree Secondary School, played the lead skid Stewart in "Letterkenny."