Maple Ridge couple encouraging community participation in 2021 Dream Lottery

Family seeking hope for their three-and-a-half year old daughter suffering from spina bifida

Amelia at home. (Special to The News)

A Maple Ridge couple, whose three-and-a-half year old daughter suffers from spina bifida, is hoping for community participation in the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 2021 Dream Lottery.

Kyle and Kelly Holtz’s daughter Amelia, was diagnosed in 2018 with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. Amelia suffers from a rare and severe form of spina bifida with a tethered spinal cord and feet deformities and has since been in and out of surgeries and appointments at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre.

The Cottonwood area family looks at the dream lottery as a chance for Amelia and several others like her who are suffering from various rare forms of diseases, to get an opportunity towards a better life. The lottery, announced in July this year, will go on until Oct. 14 or until tickets sell out, and is aimed at supporting research initiatives that would ultimately provide treatment for several rare diseases.

“Supporting this lottery is really important for us because Amelia’s condition is very rare and this lottery gives the hospital a chance to bring resources for research. Some rare conditions, like Amelia’s, get overlooked, but this will give her, and many others like her, a fighting chance,” said Kelly.

Amelia, who went through a 13-hour surgery at eight months old, was born with one hip rotated forward and the other dislocated. She now has no sensation from the waist down. Her spinal cord has re-tethered which is common in spina bifida patients, and she was recently diagnosed with Scoliosis. She is scheduled for two surgeries in October and November this year.

“Conditions such as Amelia’s used to be a death sentence for families but the Dream Lottery is an opportunity to bring hope,” said Kelly. “Amelia is such a happy kid and she doesn’t let anything get her down but we often have to remind her that she isn’t just going to get better one fine day. This isn’t a common cold and we have to keep reminding her that this is for the rest of her life.”

Amelia is all set to start pre-school this September at Little Willows, and is very excited about going to school.

“It is amazing that in kids’ eyes, nobody is different and that is important for us. We want other kids and parents to see this too, that Amelia is just like you and me,” she said, adding that the lottery and donation opportunities such as this, go a long way in helping kids like Amelia and their families.

Those who want to buy their tickets online can visit Community members can also purchase tickets by phone at 604.536.2491, or 1.888.888.1567, or in-person at London Drugs, and Save-On Foods.

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Amelia at waterpark. (Special to The News)

Amelia enjoying the waterpark. (Special to The News)

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