LAC LA BICHE, Alta - With the help of Lac La Biche County employees and an overwhelming show of community support by residents, a local family will receive some much-needed financial support during a difficult time.
Molly Fyten, the County’s environmental services manager, was an organizer of recent events aimed to raise money for a co-worker’s family who has a child struggling with serious health issues.
This month, an online sale that started with a few garden boxes ballooned into an online auction with dozens of donated items. The auction wrapped up on July 18 and raised more than $7,000, Fyten said.
“It surely spiralled into something much bigger and better. Individuals and businesses started to ask me if they could donate, so I didn’t refuse a single offer knowing that the family can use all of the help they can get. It ended up going so well, and $7,130 was raised through the event.”
A live auction at a recent Agricultural Appreciation dinner raised an additional $10,000 for the cause. To date, Fyten says between, fundraisers, auctions and donations $26,230 has been raised for the family.
The proceeds will go to helping Ezra Marfo, a Lac La Biche toddler who has been battling a rare form of cancer. Ezra was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in May of 2021. Since then, he has been in and out of hospitals in both Edmonton and Calgary. Ezra’s dad, Jacob, is the County’s agricultural fieldman. The family moved to the area four years ago — just before the COVID pandemic.
Thousands more raised
Funds for the family continue to be donated through other events put on by local businesses and residents. A recent ‘pizza day’ event held by Ashley Kabalan at the Beaverhill Road Shell in Lac La Biche raised more than $2,600, for example.
Fyten is encouraged by the community support, and knew the support would be there, starting from the first event.
“I have always been proud to live in Lac La Biche, and it completely fills my soul after seeing the community come together and have the support flow in as it has been,” Fyten said.
Stem cell match needed
While the community support is without question, there are still unknowns when it comes to Ezra’s medical future. The youngster is in dire need of a stem cell match. Fyten hopes the community can once again rally to get the message out.
“They need an exact match which will be really rare to find. I am trying to help promote this for him and he has an online page setup to help find a match,” Fyten said.
There is a website link to Ezra’s fight on the Canadian Blood Services website.