Rennah Aiesha is just nine months old, and struggling to survive.
The bright-eyed, happy girl was born with mitral regurgitation and cardiomyopathy, which in laymen’s terms means a valve in her heart isn’t working properly. Her mom, Siak Aiesha, had just started taking the medical lab assistant program at Vancouver Career College (VaCC) in March.
Her daughter’s illness came to light on July 26, and she has been approved for a heart transplant in Edmonton. The family, including her sister and her father Brendon, has already headed there from the Vancouver area, and Rennah is high on the list for her transplant. They are staying in the Ronald McDonald House, and their landlord has helped by waiving August’s rent. After the transplant, the young family will need to stay in Edmonton for three months.
When she is allowed to come home, she will have to visit BC Children’s hospital once per week for a year, then every two weeks, and finally, once every three months for the rest of her life.
In the meantime, Aiesha’s fellow students at VaCC have rallied around the family, raising money to ease their financial burden. They’ve baked cookies and cakes to sell, and they’ve collected more than $500 through a bottle drive in Abbotsford.
Now, the VaCC students are locking people up.
Locked Up for Love is a fundraising event taking place in Abbotsford on Sept. 25. Several students, staff, administrators, elected officials and local media will be ‘locked up’ until they can collect their own bail. They will each need to collect $500 and will be calling on family, friends and colleagues to raise the money.
The day will also include a community-driven garage sale, another bake sale, a by-donation barbecue, by donation haircuts, raffles, silent auctions, entertainment and special guests.
When it’s all said and done, VaCC is matching funds raised with their own donation.
For more information, visit their page on Facebook, Locked Up for Love – A Community Fundraiser.
The event is being held at the Abbotsford Vancouver Career College campus at 2121 Clearbrook Rd., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 25.
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