by Ho Ching (Crystal) Lam | February 1, 2021

In December 2020, Black Top & Checker Cabs donated several taxi ride coupons to a local Vancouver family upon learning their elementary-aged son is suffering from a form of kidney disease — Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and, as a result, have been required to commute to the BC Children’s Hospital on a weekly basis.

After a routine visit to the pediatrician’s office, the Vancouver family found that their son has developed FSGS. The disease has reduced his kidneys’ functional capabilities by 80 percent, impacting the organ’s ability to filter out the impure particles in his blood cells. Within months, dialysis and other procedures, such as bloodwork, were required to maintain and monitor the boy’s health condition. It also meant he and his parents had to miss school and work when receiving treatment at the BC Children’s Hospital two to three times each week. The continuous need to travel between North Vancouver and the hospital, along with an overwhelming amount of medical information on FSGS, slowly took a toll on the family’s finances and mental health.

The local community soon learned of the family’s situation. They decided to host a fundraiser to help cover some of the family’s expenses, such as transportation costs and other basic needs, including medication and rent. The campaign organizers also reached out to Black Top & Checker Cabs (Black Top), a taxi company in Vancouver. They inquired if the company can offer any support. The Black Top leadership team immediately recognized the family’s needs and decided to donate taxi coupons to cover some of the family’s travel costs. According to Black Top’s General Manager, Jeff Wan, it is essential for the company to “take every opportunity (it has) to give back to the communities (in Vancouver),” as the company has been built upon local support in the past 82 years.

By the end of last December, the fundraising campaign has raised over $7,000 CAD. When the funds, along with Black Top’s ride vouchers, were presented to the family, they were blown away by the kindness and generosity the entire community has displayed. The parents expressed they couldn’t be more thankful for all the love and support they have received. The family also mentioned their son is now on the kidney transplant waitlist, hoping to receive a transplant surgery in the near future.

For more information on the fundraiser and ways to support the family, please refer to this gofundme campaign.

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