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

COVID-19: Saanich company joins nation-wide effort to produce 30,000 ventilators

StarFish Medical using a ‘purpose-driven design for rapid manufacturing,’ CEO says

Royal Athletic Park will not be a shelter site during COVID-19 crisis: Victoria mayor

Indoor sites to be coordinated with Island Health, BC Housing

BC Ferries further reduces sailings in response to COVID-19

Any sailing reservations cancelled due to schedule changes will be refunded

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

Canoe found in men’s public bathroom in Cadboro-Gyro Park

‘Please do not park your canoe in our bathrooms,’ say Saanich parks staff

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

Most Read