Johanita is a beautiful child with a bright future and every hope for a long and healthy life. But it hasn't always been easy for her parents to be as hopeful as they are now. Johanita's struggles and challenges have been extreme, and hope has been elusive as her family fought hard to pay for her medical needs. She was diagnosed at 18 months with an aggressive, cancerous brain tumour. Surgeons rushed to remove it immediately and the surgery was a success but the problems were far from over.
Johanita's medical insurance did not cover the entire cost of the first procedure. More surgeries were required in the months that followed and the family moved to the mainland in Ecuador to live close to the hospital that was keeping Johanita alive. Their bills grew quickly as they worked even harder to manage.
Johanita's father works in a job that takes him away from his family for many weeks at a time. When he most needs to be at his daughter's side, he is off working furiously to keep ahead of the costs. Johanita's mother works equally hard, looking after Johanita and her two brothers who have been as helpful as any children could be.
Johanita recently needed medication that came with an astronomical price tag and the medical bills were already overwhelming. An anonymous philanthropist in Canada had heard about this family and he was touched by their love for their child. His respect for them all was profound. He quietly helped this family to pay for the life-saving drugs. He did this without them ever knowing his name or identity.
Johanita responded well to her medication and the radiation treatments. But at four and a half years of age, the shunt that was placed in Johanita's brain to prevent fluid buildup had failed and she needed surgery immediately to place a new shunt. The cost to the family for this surgery was more than they could manage but the alternative was unthinkable.
S V Krisnarajah (Kris) is the philanthropist who had helped this family. He understood that the family deserved help yet again. He stepped forward with a financial gift that paid the family's portion of the surgery costs and again, he did this in a way that did not reveal who he was.
But this time, Kris also came up with an idea that would put the worry behind them for many years. He would have to step out from behind his anonymity to do something that nobody has ever done before.
Kris and his business partner, Shams Syed would travel across North America in a Lamborghini. They asked for pledges from friends and business contacts and donated money themselves. They also funded the entire tour. Kris and Shams wanted to give Johanita's family reassurance for inevitable upcoming expenses.
The most eastern point in North America is Cape Spear in Newfoundland, Canada. It is a breath takingly beautiful place with rocky shorelines and a picturesque lighthouse. This would be the starting point for their tour as they drove westward to cross the country, and the continent, in seven days. Reaching Vancouver a week later, the two men would log more than 7,500km (nearly 4,700 miles).
The footage captured along the way shows the stunning landscapes. From the rocky coast of Newfoundland, across the forested wilderness of Ontario, over the flat but striking scenery in the prairies, The Badlands, and into the rolling mountains of Alberta and British Columbia, the two saw the country through the windshield of one of the most beautiful and powerful cars on the road. The adventure was life changing for more than just Johanita.
More impressive and heart warming than the scenery, they also witnessed the goodness of people. Donations were offered by several sponsors and also by people along the way who admired the car and why it was being driven across Canada. A few very lucky people were given a ride.
It was truly touching to see how much love and support there was for a little girl across the ocean who was fighting so hard.
Johanita's family are grateful to all who have helped them and they are overwhelmed by what people have done. What strangers have done.
Johanita is growing stronger every day. Her future looks bright. Johanita's family can now focus on the joy, with less need to worry. They dared to take her and her brothers to a nearby beach for the first time in years. The pictures of them in this video show them as they deserve to be, making memories instead of worrying.
Anyone who wishes to help Johanita and her family can visit her fundraiser page at https://gofund.me/3a8e27b8.
This miracle could not have been accomplished without generous support from AptPay, Aptcard, Centurion Capital, Charminar Indian Cuisine, Lamborghini Calgary, Lamborghini Vancouver, Mid East Pharmaceutical, Grand Touring Automobiles, Genesis Appraisals, Posner Metals, Paul Motor Leasing, Empire Capital, HMA Auto Sales, Maurizio Mascioli, Vishnu and Leora.
To save a child across the ocean, it all started with just one call.