Andrei Marti was presented with the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Day award (5-10 years), for his work fundraising for Help Fill a Dream and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

Local philanthropic ‘upside down kid’ receives new bike after two of his bikes were stolen

Andrei Marti, 10, has raised more than $10,000 for Help Fill A Dream Foundation

The kid who turns himself ‘upside down’ to help others was on the receiving end of the equation this week.

Four years ago Help Fill A Dream donated a new bike to Andrei Marti, shortly after he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. At the time he was five.

READ MORE: Youngster goes head over heels to help others

During the recent spate of bike theft in Victoria, however, Marti’s bike was stolen. Actually, he had two bikes stolen. One was his BMX he had also been gifted and the other his everyday bike.

As a result, he was distraught. To cheer him up, his mother took him to Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park. That’s where Alex Campbell, an owner at Flying Squirrel, surprised him. Having met, and seen, what Marti has been up to – raising $20,000 for Help Fill A Dream and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since he was 6 – Campbell took to action.

On Saturday, Marti thought he was in trouble when he was whisked into the Flying Squirrel office.

“They told me I did a ‘gainer’ [a forward moving backflip], something you’re not allowed to do,” Marti said. “I can’t really do a backflip but I thought I did something wrong.”

Instead, he was surprised with a brand new, baby blue BMX.

“I didn’t even look at it,” Marti said as he received the bike. “I looked at the manager. I am so thankful they did that. Biking is one of my favourite things, if not my favourite.”

Over the years Campbell has given Marti a few passes to the trampoline park and he couldn’t stomach something that could possibly deter Marti.

“We wanted to hook him up for such an outstanding outlook he has on the world,” Campbell said. “We had provided some trampoline passes to reward his positive, good nature, when we heard his bikes were stolen. That got our wheels spinning.”

Marti has already ridden the bike at a skate park. He rides it to summer camp and around his property.”

Through the first years of his diagnosis, Marti and his family were heavily supported by Help Fill A Dream, with the organization helping to cover his $400 a month in medical expenses, and, in addition to the bike, sent him on a one-day adventure to Disneyland.

Marti can bust a solid handstand and he uses the upside down shtick a regular busking downtown. He’s been so successful in raising money, he’s twice been awarded the Youth in Philanthropy award on National Philanthropy Day (2017 and 2018), for ages 5 to 10.

On Aug. 11 he did what he’s been doing for years now, busking on Government. Marti raised $1,300 for Help Fill A Dream in less than one hour through some bigger ticket donations.

“We can’t have someone like that moving backwards when he’s so overwhelmingly positive,” Campbell said. |It made sense to buy him a bike to re-instill all the great things he does will come back to him.”

Marti’s movement has caught on and other kids who have been supported by Help Fill A Dream are also paying it forward for other Island children with life-threatening medical conditions. Marti is joined by Aurora (6), Braiden (19), Seth (13), Emma (14) and twins Asher and Nolan (9), in raising $14,482 that they will present at the Golf For Kids tournament on Sept. 7.

They hope to raise more than $25,000. For more information visit helpfilladream.com/pay-it-forward or call 250-382-3135.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

On Aug. 11 the ‘upside down’ kid, Andrei Marti, busked on Government Street. In three years the Central Saanich youth, 10, has raised $10,000 for Help Fill A Dream. (Help Fill A Dream photo)

Just Posted

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

Dozens brave cold for third annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Organizers have raised more than $40,000 as of Feb. 16

HarbourCats team up with Bastion Books to bring back Harvey’s Reading Club

HarbourCats and Bastions Books offer students free game tickets in an effort to promote child literacy

Central Saanich newspaper carrier gets letter of thanks, chocolates from her community for note

Ava Verscheure started her first very job by introducing herself to residents along newspaper route

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

Most Read