Family raises funds for wheelchair-accessible van

Local couple's daughter has rare neuromuscular disease

  • Nov. 12, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Aaron and Kaiti Luyt are shown with daughter Layla.

Family and friends have rallied to raise funds towards a wheelchair-accessible van for a local couple whose two-year-old daughter has a rare genetic neuromuscular disease.

Aaron and Kaiti Luyt, a former Abbotsford couple who recently moved to Mission, are the parents of Layla, who was born with a condition that leaves her with little muscle tone.

She has a cortical visual impairment, which means that she can see but her brain is unable to interpret what she sees.

Layla gets her nutrition through a G-tube that is inserted through her abdomen, delivering nutrition directly to her stomach.

In Layla’s short life, hospital and hospice stays have been the norm.

Kaiti has been unable to return to work since Layla requires so much care and has numerous doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions. This has put some financial strain on the family.

The last few months have seen some positive changes, including the addition of an electric wheelchair to which Layla has adapted well. While this is positive, her aunt, Laura Severn, says that it has created other challenges for her parents.

“The wheelchair is great but they’re basically trapped in their home with it because it’s so big that it doesn’t fit in their car,” Severn said.

“On one hand, it gives Layla a measure of independence and it gives her parents rest, physically, because she gets heavier as she grows. But on the other hand, they can’t really go anywhere because of the size of the wheelchair.”

A base-model van with rear entry for a wheelchair costs approximately $50,000. The Luyts have applied to several charities for grants towards the cost of the van and are hoping to cover half the cost this way.

It’s hoped that several fundraisers will raise the other $25,000.

This includes a GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/laylavan) where people can make a donation toward the van.

Severn and other family members have also organized a burger-and-brew fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 20, which has sold out.

“We’re really encouraged by the way that people have already rallied around Layla and her parents and I’m really hopeful that we’ll be able to raise the money needed for the van,” Severn says. “It would really make a difference to Aaron and Kaiti – and to Layla too.”

For more information about supporting the family, contact Severn at 778-255-3118.

Just Posted

Dasmesh Punjabi School raises $7,500 for brain injury association

Four Grade 12 students organize charity gala in Abbotsford

Police seek owner of large stamp collection found in bush in Abbotsford

Good Samaritan turns over tens of thousands of cancelled stamps

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: B.C. Horseshoe Association hosts Abbotsford tournament

B.C. International Highwayman Open runs on Saturday and Sunday

Fire breaks out in Abbotsford home

Crews were able to quickly douse the fire and save the structure

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read