Giving tourists an unforgettable experience
Gander — Delegates at the Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador conference and trade show in Gander last week were all talking about the new direction in the industry—providing “experiential tourism.”
Gander pub hosting fundraising dinner for seven-year-old girl facing medical issues
Christine Thoms and her daughter Maria have been raising money for the Janeway Children’s Hospital for a number of years.
©Gail Collins/TC Media
Maria Thoms was just three-and-a-half-years-old when she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour.
It was the size of an orange. A doctor at the Janeway Children’s Hospital operated, saving her life.
Christine Thoms, Maria’s mother, said they could only remove 90 per cent of the tumour.
“If they had to take it any closer it would have been life-threatening,” she said.
After her surgery, Maria learned to walk again. She’s a happy little girl who loves to play hide and seek with her best friend Annabelle. Leo is her favorite Ninja Turtle.
To show their appreciation to the Janeway, Maria, her mother and their friend Angela Price have been raising money for the annual telethon. Under the banner — the Maria Thoms Project — they have been holding bake sales and bottle drives, as well as selling chocolate bars and bracelets.
Now Maria is the one who needs help.
Ever since her surgery, Maria has been going back and forth to the Janeway for MRIs. On her last visit, they were told the tumor had grown a centimeter.
Now Maria must visit St. John’s for MRIs every four months.
Thoms is a single mother. The government provides assistance for the bus rides to St. John’s, the hostel and meals, but it barely covers their expenses.
If they have to wait several days for the results, they have to pay the extra nights themselves or go back to Gander, then return. Thoms says she likes to take Maria out to the mall or to a movie the day before her MRI to help her relax, but on her limited income it’s difficult.
That’s why Thoms is grateful that a local restaurant is hosting a fundraising dinner to help out.
From 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, Thingamajiggers Pub in Gander will be offering a spaghetti dinner, Caesar salad and roll for $15 + tax with $7.50 going towards Maria’s medical appointments.
You can get tickets at the pub or from Christine Thoms at 422-2289.
You can also get more information on the Maria Thoms Project on the Facebook page.