Luca Dall-Acqua accepts his gift, a trip to Disneyland, with Ted Balderson of Christie Phoenix Insurance and Craig Smith of Help Fill A Dream. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Help Fill a Dream sends Cordova Bay kid to Disneyland

Disney the dream destination of choice for Island kids with life threatening conditions

Around the time of Luca Dall’Acqua’s fourth birthday his parents noticed something wasn’t right.

He drank a lot and, he peed a lot, but he ate very little, felt unwell and started losing weight.

Doctors discovered his pancreas had stopped working, the result of Type 1 diabetes, said his mom, Dianne Dall’Acqua.

Read More: Superkids help Greater Victoria families fulfill dreams

It took a few days in the hospital to get him sorted. Five years later, Luca, 8, lives with a tube under his skin that connects to an insulin pump. He checks his blood sugar levels every two hours to prevent further damage to his organs and to prevent the risk of entering a coma. He’s able to do this on his own and with help from aids as a Grade 3 student at Cordova Bay elementary.

The technology is a life saver but it hasn’t been quite the care-free style of life most Saanich kids experience. And that’s why Help Fill A Dream is flying Luca and his family to California to visit Disneyland and Universal Studios this week.

“We actually have six families [of kids with various life altering conditions] in either Disney World or Disneyland right now,” said Craig Smith, executive director of Help Fill A Dream.

A grateful Luca will enjoy his ninth birthday while on the trip. He’ll also have $200 cash to spend on a souvenir to remember it by, a little present the Help Fill A Dream calls “mad money.”

Smith made the presentation to the Dall’Acqua family on Tuesday in the Christie Phoenix Insurance office in Royal Oak. The ofice is home to insurance agent and employee benefit specialist Ted Balderson, a community champion who ran several fundraisers in 2018 that benefited Help Fill A Dream.

“Balderson’s support of Help Fill A Dream is much more than just fundraising,” Smith said. “He regularly acts as a resource for the organization calling on his extensive network to assist with helping to make ‘dreams’ come true.”

Help Fill a Dream provides ‘dreams,’ which include help and happiness for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands children with life-threatening conditions to improve quality of life, and to assist families with care and financial support.

Earlier this year Balderson used connections to create a ‘dream’ for an Island child go not only visit the Boston Bruins’ home opener in Boston, but also visit the dressing room to meet his favourite players after the game. This year Balderson also donated $50 to Help Fill A Dream for every Victoria HarbourCats double play, which ended up totalling $1,100 (12 double-plays).

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Free cancer care workshops at SHOAL centre this May

Cancer charity InspireHealth offer patient-centred worhshops

Cathedral to hold inclusive memorial for those lost through overdoses

Christ Church Cathedral memorial to respect diverse spirituality of participants

Experts suggest Esquimalt explores hub-and-spoke medical clinic model

Dr. Eileen Pepler says Esquimalt is in a ‘dire’ situation for medical care accessibility

‘Preliminary’ discussions with Saanich identify public works yard as potential velodrome site

Greater Victoria Velodrome Association’s David Atwell says site ‘is of great interest to us’

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria receives $2.8M Anthony Thorn donation

Victoria News article inspires hefty donation for gallery expansion

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

Island man guilty of child porn charges, Crown alleges 250,000 images

Psychiatric assessment requested by Crown, sentencing to be set June 4 in Nanaimo court

More than $100,000 raised for family of professional skier who died near Pemberton

Dave Treadway leaves behind his pregnant wife and two young boys

BC SPCA asks public for donations after puppy caught in trap

The puppy’s medical bills are expected to amount to more than $4,600

Most Read