Friends and loved ones are banding together to help Allen Leung and his family get through some extremely challenging times.
While recovering from neck surgery to fix a growth defect last fall, Leung, 41, suffered an accident in his home in November 2020.
He injured his spine and was left paralyzed from the neck down.
The manager of ticket operations for the Vancouver Whitecaps has been undergoing extensive recovery efforts at GF Strong Rehabilitation since, and will need a lot of specialized equipment when he returns to live with his wife, Mel, and their 11-year-old son, Trevor.
Co-workers at the Whitecaps organization decided to start a GoFundMe to give Leung a helping hand.
So far more than $28,000 of $200,000 goal has been raised to aid him.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Leung said of the support.
In addition to the spinal issues, Leung’s kidneys are also giving him problems.
He has had diabetes for 20 years now, and his kidney function is lowering. A search for an organ donor has not proved fruitful so far – and waiting lists can be as long as five years. But he is keeping up his spirits as best he can.
With National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week coming up (April 18 to 24), Leung would like to draw more attention to BC Transplant, where people can find details on becoming a living organ donor.
Long days at the rehabilitation centre see him getting dialysis, and diligently working at regaining muscle function in his upper body and legs.
“Over the last few weeks I’ve been making the biggest strides trying to strengthen up,” Leung said. “I’m gaining basic function and some dexterity in my arms, but I still have weakness in my legs.
“I can’t walk, but I do have movement and am seeing some improvement.”
Money from the GoFundMe will go towards a motorized wheelchair and a variety of other accessories and tools Leung will need for the near future.
He hopes to return to Maple Ridge, where he has lived for 12 years, and wants to watch Trevor play soccer this summer.
“I want to thank a lot of people who have already contributed to helping us,” Leung said.
“Anything they have donated has helped out in a big way towards me gaining a higher quality of life.
“Right now I’m counting the positives and thinking about how lucky I am to have such a supportive circle around my family.”
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