Al and Peggy Cunningham of Re/Max West Realty started an Internet funding campaign for the family of sales rep Hugo Castrillon. His daughter Erica was recently diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH).
“There are going to be some hard times ahead, especially financial, to pay the day-to-day bills,” wrote Al in setting up the campaign site. “Add to that the unforeseen medical bills that will surely arise and maybe a little to go to fulfill some dreams. Hugo is not the type of guy who would ask for a hand out and that is where we can all help. A little here and a little there will help ease the Castrillon burden. It’s all about Erica, a pretty little girl that needs the family support to fight this awful disease.”
A family blog says, “Idiopathic is the term used for “unknown cause” and pulmonary hypertension as defined by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada as ‘a disease affecting the arteries of the lungs. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex or social or ethnic background. In pulmonary hypertension, the arteries of the lungs become narrowed and scarred. This can result in almost complete closing of the arteries and can lead to heart failure. PH is a life-threatening disease for which there is currently no cure.”
The blog says Erica is “under the care of the best pediatric PH clinic in the country, which currently treats around 200 patients across Canada. We are hopeful that she will respond well to the treatment and will continue to live a normal, healthy life.”
However, the family reports that Erica has been denied coverage for some medications by the family’s insurance provider.
Castrillon writes, “We are humbled to see how our friends and family have rallied around us during this difficult time… I want to especially thank Al and Peggy Cunningham…along with their two kids Laura and Rick. I have known the Cunningham’s for about six months, but what this experience has taught me is that you don’t need to know someone for years to form a real relationship with them. Al and Peggy have been campaigning on our behalf as though Erica was their own granddaughter.”