Orillia child survives living in a bubble.
Written By: Thursday, June 8th 2017

Dave Shaw at Advantage Intravel contacted me with details surrounding his precious granddaughter who is only 8 months old and in in need of a transplant.  Maggie Shaw and Jason Kerr of Orillia are now in the United States where a doctor has taken on the case for their 8 month old daughter Aunika.


Aunika was born without a functioning Thymus gland.  The Thymus Gland activates our bodies immune system by teaching our T-Cells to attack those nasty bugs we all get in our bodies.  So without a functioning Thymus, Aunika has had to live her life as the “Girl in the Bubble”, living every day with the threat of a common cold taking her life.


Currently Aunika is with her parents at the Duke University Hospital in Durham N.C. awaiting a Thymus transplant under the care of Dr Louise Merkert.   Toronto’s Sick Children’s Hospital has been very supportive, but do not have the expertise to deal with this complex situation.  Sick Kids realizes that Dr Merkert and Duke University Hospital, being the pioneer of Thymus Gland treatment and transplant, is the only possible solution to save Aunica’s life.  So it goes without saying, that this is where she is and that it’s a very expensive proposition.


The operation itself could amount to $900,000 and to assist the family with the out of country treatment all proceeds from a special “Aunika’s Auction” will go to assist the family.   Through the hard work and generosity of Jigg’s McDonald,  John Falcon, Couch Golf Club, friends and family members there are numerous and amazing items to be placed in the Silent Auction in support of the family.

A few of the items ( perfect for Father’s Day gifts) include:


1)            Personally signed by Bobby Orr (in gold ink) copy of Bobby’s book.  ORR:  My Story


2)            A hockey stick signed by every member of the 2016/17 Toronto Maple Leafs


3)            Home Town Hockey jackets personally signed by Ron McLean and Tara Slone


4)            An Russell Martin personally autographed Blue Jays bat.


Plus numerous more items donated by NHL teams and players, as well as goods and items denoted by local businesses as well.

The special auction will take place at Couchiching Golf and Country Club in Orillia in the club house from Noon until 4:00pm on Saturday June 10th.  Everyone is invited to stop by and bid on the Silent Auction items offered.  All item draws will be made between 3:00pm and 4:00pm.