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Co-workers rally to help save baby girl

Addison Bernardino was understandably moved by an outpouring of love and generosity this week from his co-workers at Terra Nova’s Save-On-Foods, whose efforts may save his two-month-old daughter’s life.

Bernardino’s daughter Chloe has two small holes in her heart, and without the necessary surgery, could die soon.

But since little Chloe is still in the Philippines, where there’s no universal health care system, doctors are requiring payment up front: $5,000.

Bernardino initially kept his story quiet, but then told a co-worker in the bakery department, who took the initiative to get the fundraising ball rolling.

In just five days, the store collected more than $6,700, thanks largely to an $1,800 contribution from the store’s social fund, $1,500 from head office, $1,400 from staff, $1,300 through a weekend hot dog sale, $370 from the Ironwood and No. 3 Road stores, $300 from the union and $110 from customers. The fundraising efforts were spearheaded by Angy McKee and Kim Belway, who were moved into action by Bernardino’s story.

“As her dad, I’m going to do everything for my baby,” Bernardino said Tuesday, fighting back tears.

“Words is not enough to say thank you to all my co-workers and friends in Save-On. Their help means so much to me and for my family, especially to my baby Chloe.

“I owe my baby’s second life to my Save-On family.”

Bernardino was scheduled to leave this week for the Philippines to be at his daughter’s side. He’s hoping surgery can be scheduled in the next few days.

And eventually, he’s hoping to bring his wife and Chloe to Richmond, to introduce them to his extended family.

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