A North Vancouver coffee shop that has been raising funds for a former employee’s life-saving kidney transplant is rapidly closing in on its goal.
Staff and customers at the Tim Hortons at 106 West Queens Rd. launched the fundraiser earlier this month after a longtime barista, Janette Camba, was deported to the Phillippines because of complications with her work visa. With little money and no medical coverage, Camba, who has been suffering from renal failure since 2010, was likely to die without help, prompting her colleagues to band together to pay for her operation.
In the Phillippines, a transplant costs about $24,000. As of Wednesday, the drive had raised more than $19,000, putting organizers within striking distance of their target.
“It’s been a great response. It’s been nice. It’s beautiful,” said restaurant owner Robert Naughton.
Staff have been collecting donations at all three of Naughton’s North Vancouver locations, but the lion’s share has come in through the Queens Road outlet, where regular customers have come to know Camba in the three years she worked there, he said.
Speaking to the North Shore News Wednesday, Naughton said Camba had already been in hospital back home undergoing tests in advance of the procedure. The coffee shop is preparing to send a first instalment once it’s confirmed it will go ahead.
“If she doesn’t have the operation, she will run out of money in 10 months — and that’s if nothing goes wrong,” said Naughton, referring to the high cost of hemodialysis, which Camba must undergo while awaiting the transplant. “We’re hoping we can get her in within a couple of months.”
In the meantime, Naughton has set up a trust account at CIBC in the hope it will help push them over the line by Thanksgiving.
To find out more or to make a donation, visit the Queens Road Tim Hortons just west of Lonsdale Avenue, or inquire with CIBC.
Donations can be made to the Janette Camba trust fund, transit No. 00010, account No. 8754691.
Follow us on Twitter: @NorthShoreNews