The Erskine Evangelical Church witnessed the generosity of Stettler and neighbouring communities as people came on Friday evening, April 29 to participate in ‘Love for Lucas’, fundraiser for five-year old Lucas Ostafichuk-Bates, who requires a kidney transplant.
Organized by Nicole Doan, whose son Casson is Lucas’ classmate at Stettler’s Start Right Playschool, the fundraiser has generated $10k with more money coming in.
The church has created a trust fund that individuals and businesses can continue to donate to if they would like.
“The church and community of Stettler were all very generous with providing donations to be auctioned off in the live or silent auctions,” said Nicole Doan. “I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to go to various local businesses and witness first hand how generous everyone is, especially when our economy has suffered so much this past year.”
Once Lucas gets his turn to receive his kidney, all the funds raised will be given to his family to help cover living expenses while he stays in Edmonton.
Lucas was born two months premature and diagnosed with renal kidney failure due to a restriction in his urethra, which initially caused his bladder to back up and damage is kidneys.
“He also has Eagle-Barrett Syndrome or prune belly, which basically means his stomach muscles has not developed and he has been 100 per cent tube fed since birth,” said his mother Billie Sue Ostafichuk. “The fundraiser was amazing and overwhelming to say the least.”
There were 100 people in attendance, and were served desserts at the event.
There was a silent auction for some 70 items and a live auction for around 35-40 items.
“The event was a huge success,” said Doan. “We had a great night filled with delicious food, laughter, friendly competition, and huge hearts and I am so proud to say I attend a church and live in a community who are always willing to come together to bless and support people who are in need.”
Bates was officially placed on the deceased donor list on Feb. 24 of this year.
“We had no living donors available so the next best thing is a deceased one,” said Ostafichuk. “He is on the list but since he’s not on dialysis he is not a major priority, but once he is placed on dialysis he will move up the list.”
According to Ostafichuk, as unfortunate as it may sound, they are waiting for someone to pass away before Bates can get a new kidney.
“And this will not last him a lifetime sadly enough, so inevitably he’ll need more surgeries and transplants,” added Ostafichuk.