Four-month-old Lucy Van Doormaal has been diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. A GoFundMe campaign is underway to fund a pricey drug to help her fight the condition. That effort is also being supported with a charity car-wash in South Surrey on July 19. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey car wash to help raise money for baby in need of $3M drug

Four-month-old Lucy Van Doormaal needs expensive treatment to fight rare genetic disorder

This weekend, wash your car for a good cause.

On Sunday (June 19), South Surrey auto-detailing business, Splashes, will host a fundraising car wash in support of a Vancouver family whose infant daughter Lucy is in need of urgent medical care – and one of the world’s most expensive drugs – to help stop the progression of the four-month-old’s spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

SMA is a rare, progressive genetic disorder – Lucy Van Doormaal was diagnosed at just five weeks old – that leads to trouble breathing, feeding and swallowing, and other issues. Without treatment, SMA is likely to be fatal within the first two years of life, a news release issued by Lucy’s family states.

Lucy, the release adds, is a good candidate for a “ground-breaking new gene therapy” drug called Zolgensma, however, the one-time-only dose is not yet approved in Canada and costs a whopping $3 million.

So far, more than 41,000 people – including Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds – have donated to a ‘Life for Lucy’ GoFundMe campaign, raising more than $1.8 million.

“The amount of support we have been getting is unbelievable – we are so full of hope that we will be able to reach what, at one point, seemed like an impossible goal. The momentum of the past few days has been incredible,” Lucy’s parents Laura and Scott Van Doormaal said.

Research has shown that the longer a child waits for treatment, the more irreversible the damage from this neuromuscular disorder.

“It is overwhelming to know that there is something out there that could change Lucy’s life,” said Laura.

“When you have a child, you would do anything for them. We are working around the clock to reach our $3 million goal.”

Sunday’s fundraiser at Splashes was spurred by the suggestion of a customer, who is a family friend of the Van Doormaals, car wash officials said.

“Our business gives back to a local charity each month, however, we saw this as an opportunity to host a one-day fundraiser to raise as much money as possible for this family,” explains an email detailing the event.

It’s to take place at 103-3050 King George Blvd., from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will include free touchless car washes, though donations will be collected on site.

Cash, debit and credit-card donations will be accepted, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the family.

COVID-19 safety precautions will also be followed, Splashes staff said.

From noon until 4 p.m., Tacofino will also be on site, serving food, with a portion of those proceeds also being donated to the cause.

The GoFundMe campaign can be found at https://ca.gofundme.com/f/lucyvandoormaal



editorial@peacearchnews.com

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