An online fundraising campaign for the family of Andrew Debogorski, a well-known Yellowknifer who died following a house fire last week, has surpassed its $25,000 goal in just two days.
Debogorski, 32, was pronounced dead in hospital after firefighters responded to a call about an individual trapped inside an engulfed 51A Avenue home on Friday, Dec. 28. Debogorski’s wife Myriam – who he married in April – along with his two young children were able to escape the blaze, according to a news release issued by the City of Yellowknife.
Debogorski was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2017. He used a wheelchair and relied on a special device to communicate after losing the ability to walk and speak over the last two years.
The GoFundMe campaign, launched by Debogorski’s brother Curtis on New Year’s Eve, seeks to support the young family, displaced by the fire, by covering food and clothing costs.
“(Andrew’s) wife Myriam and young children Nyah (5 yrs) and Miroslav (4 months) are now preparing to say goodbye to Andrew while dealing with the loss of their home,” states a message on the GoFundMe page.
By Thursday morning, the relief fund had raised more than $27,000. Donors pitched in over $8,000 in the campaign’s first 18 hours online.
That number doubled in mere hours.
“In just over 24 hours your incredible generosity has raised over $14,000, well over half way to our goal. We thank you and are overwhelmed by the kind words, love, support and prayers for Myriam, Nyah, Miro and the extended family. Please continue to share and like the campaign as this has a tremendous impact. Much love from the Debogorski’s,” wrote Curtis Debogorski on Tuesday.
“This fund will support Myriam and her young family to prepare for Andrew’s funeral and their interim needs of food, clothing and daily living. Thank you to all of you who have contributed in your prayers, well wishes and support through this difficult time for the Debogorski family,” reads the statement.
The Debogorski family, including Alex Debogorski – Andrew’s father and reality television star of Ice Road Truckers fame – carried out a string of fundraising initiatives since the 2017 diagnosis, including Bouge’s Buds: It Takes a Village Fundraiser, to help cover costly medical expenses.
“I don’t ask God to take away the challenges he allows but I do ask for the strength to handle them,” tweeted Alex Debogorski, who took to social media to share the tragic news.
Contributions are still being accepted.
Yellowknife RCMP are continuing to assist the Office of the Fire Marshal’s investigation into the deadly fire’s cause.