Toddler’s transplant fund grows

By Dixie Pettit

Liam Houck’s race against time was made known to residents of Ramona during the Country Fair. In the end stage of renal failure, this 17-month-old Ramona boy is touching the hearts of young and old. Through community involvement, the Houcks’ financial burden is being lightened little by little and day by day.

Amanda Selby, left, and Ava Williamson, both 12, sells baked goods at the Third Street Grill on Saturday. Courtesy photo

On Saturday, Robert and Victoria Bradley hosted a bake sale in front of their store at 642 Main St., Ramona Family Naturals. The sale brought in nearly $800, with additional money coming in from others inspired by Liam’s story.

Donations were collected from a table in front of Albertsons, and tables of baked goods were also placed next to the Third Street Grill by two middle school girls on a mission — “to raise $10,000 for Liam’s family.”

Ava Williamson and Amanda Selby, both 12, began raising funds for cancer after walking in Ramona last year for the American Cancer Society, but they switched their signs after hearing Liam’s story.

“We found out about it in the paper,” said Williamson. “We were trying to raise money for cancer, but then this popped up, so we changed to this for Liam.”

Rapidly declining kidney function has placed Liam on the verge of complete renal failure while he waits for a transplant. He is the son of Ramona residents Vanessa and U.S. Marine Capt. Reid Houck, a pilot.

A bake sale at Ramona Family Naturals on Saturday raised nearly $800 for the Houck family. Sentinel photo/Dixie Pettit

Through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), the family used a booth at the Ramona Country Fair to raise awareness of Liam’s plight and to collect donations for the mounting expenses needed to keep him as healthy as possible while waiting for a transplant. A dollar at a time, $60,441 has been raised and is approaching the halfway mark to the total estimated need of $125,000 listed on the COTA website.

According to Robert Bradley, more events are in the planning process. Meetings for fundraisers are being held at the store with volunteers and organizers encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit the website at where updates can be found. Persons interested in participating in fundraisers may contact Ramona Family Naturals at 760-787-5987 or COTA coordinator and Ramona resident Suzanne Reese at 858-449-4844.

To help:

Donation jars are in businesses throughout town, donations may be made online at and donations may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch location using account number 5816590656.

On Saturday Aug. 20, a fundraiser and barbecue will be held at Pool City, 4250 Bonita Road in Bonita from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Liam’s Festival for Life featuring three bands — Jason Winters, Haley Montgomery and Absolute Truth — will be at Ramona Mainstage on Oct. 9.

Related posts:

  1. Ramonans rally to help toddler needing kidney transplant
  2. Sixth-graders raise money for ailing toddler
  3. Rummage sale Nov. 14 to benefit reward fund
  4. Tree planting grows volunteers
  5. Toddler drowns in pond

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Aug 17 2011. Filed under Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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