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Southern Alberta boy raises money for Calgary hospital that saved his sister

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge boy raises money for hospital that saved his sister'
Lethbridge boy raises money for hospital that saved his sister
WATCH ABOVE: Eight-year-old Benjamin Hurkens and his family say the Alberta Children’s Hospital saved his two-year-old sister’s life. Now they are raising money through an online auction of donated local items for the Calgary hospital. Emily Olsen has the story – Dec 7, 2020

Eight-year-old Benjamin Hurkens has watched his little sister Elizabeth fight for her life since the day she was born.

“My little sister goes to the hospital a lot… she has heart problems,” he said over a Zoom interview on Monday.

Read more: Ellie’s Radiothon Story

“[What] my daughter has… It’s called SVT [or Supraventricular tachycardia],” his mom Kristina Hurkens explained. “So her heart rate fluctuates like crazy.”
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She said without the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Elizabeth wouldn’t be alive today.

“She’s been up there since she was born at 33 weeks,” Kristina said. “She’s spent three weeks in the NICU and it’s been multiple visits since then.”

She said hospital staff have helped the family through what has been a very difficult process.

“They do so much for the kids to make it easier for them, and the parents to make it easier for them. It’s just such an incredible place to be given the circumstance.”

This year Benjamin and his family wanted to give back.

“The hospital’s donations are down 30 per cent this year because of COVID,” Kristina explained.

The Kids Helping Kids Online Auction features donations from southern Alberta which are open for bidding until Dec. 21. 

“We’ve had people’s small businesses donate stuff, we’ve had bigger businesses donate stuff and it’s just awesome to see everyone wanting to come together as a community and help donate items,” Kristina said. “And even the people going online to bid on the stuff.”

Read more: 17th annual Caring for Kids Radiothon raises $3.7 million for Alberta Children’s Hospital

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Lethbridge business Simmer and Sugar opened just months ago and owner Jennifer Loula is already jumping in to support the cause.

Benjamin and his family don’t have a set donation goal.

“The year has been hard for everyone, so I don’t want to put a number on it because we don’t really know what to expect,” Kristina said. “But we’re just trying to get as much as we can.” 

But she added they’re thrilled to see the support already rolling in.

“You don’t ever think that your kid’s going to be the one that ends up there until they’re there,” she said. “So it’s good to know the community cares.”

Read more: Southern Alberta woman becomes living kidney donor

Bids can be made on the Kids Helping Kids Online Auction Facebook group. 

All profits go directly to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

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