A family-driven fundraiser for BC Children’s Hospital got off to a good start Thursday with a parking lot barbecue that gathered $429 for the cause.
Gary Ahuja has pledged to raise $100,000 for the hospital in his lifetime, in appreciation for the hospital’s life-saving work for his young daughter.
Little Maya Ahuja is now almost three years old but came close to dying when she was a newborn, due to a congenital heart defect. She underwent open heart surgery at four months old but her heart had flat-lined shortly after the operation and ceased beating for 22 minutes.
The BC Children’s Hospital team restored her pulse and after six weeks of being hooked up to ECMO, a heart and lung machine, Maya was able to come home with her family.
Maya still faces challenges and will require further heart surgery, but she is doing well and is this year’s “A World of Smiles Telethon Champion Child.” Maya will be featured on the BC Children’s Hospital Telethon on May 26.
Gary’s brother Vipan works for EV Logistics in Gloucester Industrial Estates, and organized Thursday’s barbecue in their parking lot. Thanks to food contributions from Overwaitea Foods, and the support of volunteer cooks and the lunchtime crowds, the barbecue had no expenses and netted $429 for BC Children’s Hospital.
Gary has also organized a fundraising dinner for the cause on May 10 at Abbotsford’s Zaika Taste of India restaurant, and this event is already sold out.
However, anyone can contribute to the cause by going to the telethon website www.bcchf.ca/SuperHeroPages and click on Team Miracle Maya, or by calling during the telethon.