Funds exceed target

Jody Hanna: Blind teen now able to get treatment.

Thankful: Jody Hanna’s mother Alicia smiles during a fundraising auction Saturday at the Sturgis North Pub.

“The Big Guy had a big hand in this one.”

That’s how Lisa Devries describes the overwhelming community response that raised $45,500 in 16 days to send blind teen Jody Hanna to Phoenix, Ariz. for stem cell treatment that could give her the gift of sight.

Devries, who researched possible treatments for Jody, whose optic nerves are underdeveloped, began asking for funding help after finding a facility that has accepted the youth for the procedure and offers assurances that she can reasonably anticipate gaining some or possibly total vision.

A Jody Hanna day at Sturgis North Pub Saturday raised $17,605 dollars.

“We had about 100 to 150 people throughout the day,” says Devries, who was amazed that donations of items continued to pour in even as an auction was already underway. “It was not an overly large crowd, but it was a very generous, generous crowd.”

The silent and live auctions and a 50-50 draw raised just over $17,000 while 50 per cent of food sales donated by the pub added up to another $600.

“It’s overwhelming… I keep saying thank-you, thank-you and giving everyone hugs,” says Devries, who organized the daylong event with help from Cindy Teare. “But it’s not enough.”

Also finding it hard to adequately express the enormity of her family’s relief and gratefulness, is Jody’s mom Alicia.

“It’s a huge shocker, but I’m feeling really good about it,” she says. “I am so amazed by our little community of Salmon Arm, but I guess people want to help out.”

While she says the family will not know the extent of treatment Jody will require along with her stem cell procedure until January at the Stem Cell Rejuvenation Center in Phoenix, there will be additional costs.

With more than twice the $20,000 fund-raising goal already in the bank, the Hanna family has decided not to go ahead with a fund-raising appearance at Save-On Foods this Friday.

“We’re happy with what we’ve got…” she says, noting the original $20,000 goal was solely for the initial procedure. “This is fabulous – more than fabulous. I guess you could say I love everyone in Salmon Arm.”

And Jody?

“She’s excited, very happy to have this opportunity, but she doesn’t understand the full meaning,” Alicia Laughs, pointing out Jody’s excitement is “over the top at school, where they’re having a hard time containing the girl with the newfound star status.

“Whenever we walk into the school people notice us and say, ‘hi.’ That’s cool.”

 

Just Posted

First Nations group takes up biosolids protest

Online call to action asks Secwepemc to stand against and stop the dumping of biosolid

WildsafeBC comes to the Okanagan to reduce wildlife conflict

Bear activity on the Westside has been an issue in the past few weeks

Helping people through the worst days of their lives

Police Based Victim Services grateful for the many agencies which provide local support

Driver, animals escape injury after collision near Sicamous

RCMP say road conditions were not a factor in afternoon crash

Fifth cannabis store proposed for downtown

City of Salmon Arm policy limits number cannabis retailers in core to four

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

Okanagan medical cannabis shop shutting doors

Herb’s Health Centre has been operating without a city business licence for nearly a year

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Most Read