Cereal box star

Abbotsford girl's photo, story on back of Honey Nut Cheerios boxes in Save-On-Foods stores in support of BC Children's Hospital

Maya Ahuja’s picture and story is on the back of Honey Nut Cheerios cereal boxes at Save-On-Foods stores across the province. Twenty-five cents from each box will go to B.C. Children’s Hospital at next month’s Miracle Weekend. Maya underwent open-heart surgery when she was four months old in 2010 and doctors saved her life after she flat-lined for 22 minutes.

For the month of May, Langley Times sports reporter Gary Ahuja’s daughter Maya will be featured on the back of Honey Nut Cheerios cereal boxes along with her miracle story of survival.

Twenty-five cents from each purchase of ‘Maya’s’ Cheerios, which can be bought at any Save-On-Foods in B.C., will go to support B.C. Children’s Hospital.

It’s all part of a lead up to Global TV’s annual Miracle Weekend, a two day telethon to support BC Children’s taking place June 4 and 5.

Now into its 29th year, the Miracle Weekend has raised more than $18 million in that time.

The Ahujas are thrilled their daughter is on boxes of Cheerios, Maya, who is in Kindergarten, is pretty excited too.

It’s not everyday, you get to have breakfast with a picture of your daughter on the cereal box, said Gary.

“Save-On-Foods has a 101 year history of supporting the communities that support us. We’re so proud to partner with BC Children’s Hospital and Child Health BC — which provides children outside the Vancouver area access to the care they need,” said Darrel Jones, the president of Save-On-Foods.

“Many of our customers and team members rely on (BC Children’s Hospital)  services and we can’t think of a better way to ensure bright futures for the kids of B.C. than to help make sure they get the help they need, closer to home.”

The Ahujas are hoping people will support the cause that is so near and dear to their hearts.

“We know first-hand the incredible work that takes place at the hospital every day and our family is grateful for the care Maya has received,” said Gary about Maya, who has been a patient at BC Children’s Hospital since birth due to a congenital heart defect.

“Nothing can prepare you for having a sick child, but knowing that fundraisers like this are providing funds for the urgent needs of the hospital that saved Maya’s life, demonstrates the huge network of support for families like ours.”

After doctors literally brought Maya back to life when she flatlined for 22 minutes after open heart surgery, the Ahujas decided they needed to thank the hospital that saved their daughter nearly six years ago.

Since 2013, they have been hosting various fundraisers with a goal of donating $100,000 to BC Children’s Hospital.

Last year’s Share a Smile Diwali Party raised more than $17,000.

So far, in the three years Team Miracle Maya has been fundraising, they have reached nearly $52,000, more than half way to their goal.