Recycling efforts pay off for Saanich boy

Fundraising efforts for juvenile diabetes bring Youth in Philanthropy Award

Andrei Marti

A Saanich boy diagnosed with juvenile diabetes says he was initially left speechless when he won a major philanthropic award for his work in combating that disease.

“I didn’t say anything, because in my mind I was ‘Holy cow,’’’ said Andrei Marti.

Marti won the Youth in Philanthropy Award handed out during a ceremony at the Empress Hotel in Victoria as part of National Philanthropy Day organized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Island Chapter.

“We were so surprised, so surprised,” said Andrei’s mother, Annelies Browne. “I think I screamed.”

Andrei, whom doctors diagnosed with  Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in August 2015, has been raising funds on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) by collecting recyclables. To date, he has collected about $3,000, a figure that includes his prize money of $500.

More than 300,000 Canadians have T1D,  an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone that allows humans to use and store sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates as an energy source.

People with T1D (which accounts for about five to 10 per cent of all cases of diabetes in Canada) face a host of medical complications that could lead to brain damage and death.

T1D generally develops in childhood and medical science continues to search for its cause(s) and cure.

Marti, however, had defiantly told doctors that medical science would find a cure during his lifetime, a point he reiterated during the award ceremony.

The names of Saanich residents and organizations also appeared in other award categories.

Team 4 Hope, a group of local volunteers that raises funds to support families with children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of cancer, won the Generosity of Spirit Award.

Lisa Hopkins, a spokesperson for the group, says it started six years ago to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her son Jordon surviving stage 4 neuroblastoma. He is now 17 after doctors had given him a 20 per cent chance of survival.

“It was a great honour to be nominated, and the room was full of these amazing people and children who all are doing great work for our community,” said Hopkins.

“I find public speaking very difficult, like a lot of people, and it is always emotional to speak about my son’s journey and the other families who we have helped, especially since most of them have passed away,” she said.

Saanich Baptist Church received a nomination in the category of Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club thanks to their work with Victoria Women’s Transition House.

 

Over the years, generally twice a year, the church sends a team of volunteers to assist with various cleaning and repair projects throughout the VWTH’s emergency shelter. The church has also taken on VWTH as one of their Christmas outreach charities. When they learned that the greatest need of the women and children who are staying at the shelter are gift cards to help them with purchasing items to assist them on getting a new start, they would deliver a hand-made wreath decorated with all the gift cards they were able to collect, with a total value of over $3,000 each time.

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich police arrest suspected purse snatcher after witness tracks him down

Man known to police attempted to steal the purses from Red Robin restaurant

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read