FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John resident is collecting items throughout January to put on a live auction to help the Melville family’s financial burdens.
Auction organizer Adriana Wilson is hosting the auction fundraiser to help the family cover the several costs while their daughter, Alara, is expected to undergo more heart procedures and her dad, Mike, battles cancer.
A GoFundMe was set up for the family in 2020 after their newborn, Alara, was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot. At six months old, Alara received her first open heart surgery in April 2021 to repair most of the defects, according to the family.
Wilson says Alara’s doctors want to perform a cardiac catheterization procedure to open her pulmonary artery. Depending on the results, she may have to undergo another open-heart surgery.
Mike Melville, Alara’s dad, was also diagnosed with Stage Three Colorectal Cancer in September 2021.
Mike underwent a surgical procedure called a Loop Ileostomy —where a loop of small intestine is pulled out through a cut in the abdomen, before being opened up and stitched to the skin to form a stoma. This is done so waste and gas don’t reach the colon or rectum, according to Cancer.net.
Mike’s chemotherapy has cost the family $8,000 a month, which Wilson says isn’t covered by the federal or provincial government.
Radiation or intravenous chemotherapy treatments are free for cancer patients, but those who require oral cancer drugs usually have to pay.
Since the Fort St John Hospital doesn’t offer radiation treatment, Mike is forced to live in Prince George for the next few months. Once the tumour has shrunk and been removed, Mike will be able to return home to continue chemotherapy.
Auction items are being accepted until January 31st, with bidding starting on February 1st until the 14th.
Anyone looking to place a bid on an item can do so on Facebook or in-person at Tenacious Detailing.