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Port Moody mom doesn't let stolen donations slow her down

Andrea Lyons (with her daughter Dani) is looking to raise $10,000 for the BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation but received a setback when a donation bin was stolen from a Coquitlam grocery store. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Andrea Lyons (with her daughter Dani) is looking to raise $10,000 for the BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation but received a setback when a donation bin was stolen from a Coquitlam grocery store.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

A Port Moody mom is not letting a thief stop her from trying to do the most she can for her four-year-old daughter.

Today, Andrea Lyons will get up at 4 a.m. to run 10 km just like she does every day to prepare for the June 22 Scotia Bank half marathon Charity Challenge to raise funds for the BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation.

She has a reason: Her daughter Dani was recently diagnosed with the debilitating disease, known as NF1, which can cause tumours to grow along nerves, affecting mobility and vision, and causing other issues.

But Lyons’ campaign took a kick on Mother’s Day when a thief made off with a donation bin of cash that had been placed at a customer service counter at a PoMo grocery store (the store doesn’t want to be identified). The money hasn’t been recovered, according to Lyons, but a store employee who asked not to be identified said it has video of the thief taking the box and the details are being forwarded to Coquitlam RCMP.

“I just got the call yesterday that it was stolen,” Lyons said. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s for a four-year-old girl. It’s repulsive.”

But she won’t let the theft deter her efforts to raise awareness about the disease, for which there is no cure, and she takes inspiration from her happy daughter, who lives life to the fullest despite having NF1.

Lyons is continuing her training and her fundraising, with the goal of raising $10,000 for the foundation, which provides camps and other supports for children with NF1.

“As Dani’s mom, all I can do is hope for her to continue to live in the moment and have her keep finding the positive in every day as we move forward,” Lyons said in a message to supporters.

Thrifty Foods heard about the theft and stores in Coquitlam and Port Moody have offered to host hot dog and hamburger sales to help make up for the money stolen and help Lyon raise $10,000 for the foundation. In Coquitlam, the barbecue will be held June 24, the PoMo date hasn’t been finalized.

As well, Lyons has a Facebook page.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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