Emma Locke is no ordinary 13-year-old girl.
This young West Shore resident lived with a congenital heart disease, went through a tedious and timely surgery, built her own fundraiser from scratch, received the youth in Philanthropy award in 2017, and now, she’s about to have her own dream come true!
She is also the niece of Victoria Buzz founder, Mike Kelly.
Thanks to the Help Fill a Dream Foundation, Emma’s family was able to surprise her with a trip to Australia last week.
The Help Fill a Dream Foundation is a local non-profit that helps children who are sick or living with a health condition on Vancouver Island, and is funded by donations made by the community and corporations.
This young philanthropist and local hero was born with an atrial septal defect which basically means she had a hole in her heart. Throughout her life, she and her family have maintained close ties with the BC Children’s Hospital as Emma’s congenital heart disease has required monitoring over the years.
In 2016, she underwent a surgery to close the hole in her heart, and around the same time, started working on her very own fundraiser, Two Hearts. One Wish.
Since its inception, Emma and her family have worked together to raise over $8,300 for the BC Children’s Hospital, and last week she was given some incredible news: she and her family will be taking a dream-come-true trip to Australia later this year!
It wasn’t easy keeping it a secret, says Emma’s mom, Jennifer. But the family wanted to surprise her by orchestrating a big reveal.
Thanks to the owners of Victoria Harbour Ferry, the team was able to organize a ‘Pickle Pub Crawl‘ for Emma, her friends, and family, at the end of which the news was revealed to her.
“I thought we were just gonna eat appetizers at different places,” said Emma, who had no idea about what was to come.
“Danielle from the BC Children’s Hospital said that I just won a draw for going to eat appetizers, and we went to a third place and a bunch of friends and family was there, and I was really surprised.”
Suffice it to say, Emma is extremely excited for her trip to Australia, as she had been talking about going there over the past year.
“I think it’s a really cool place with a lot of cool animals and beaches,” Emma told Victoria Buzz.
One of the first things she wants to do when she gets there is visit the Great Barrier Reef. “I want to go snorkelling to go see the fishies and turtles, and can’t wait to go on a bunch of adventures and I’m so thankful that I get to go!”
If you want to meet Emma and buy her bracelets for her Two Hearts. One Wish fundraiser, head over to Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort on September 21st for their 3rd Annual Harvest on the Harbour Gala – she’ll be there!