Thank You For Attending Our Fundraiser!

Thank you to all of our Fraser Valley visitors who attended our Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation inaugural Charity Fair and Garage Sale, at Diamond Delivery. Every arrival was eagerly anticipated, as our team gave their best to raise funds to support the transformation of health care delivery for Ghana and West Africa. Richard Lee, MLA, North Burnaby, played table tennis, challenging the past KBNF team winner, Kingsley Agyeman. We were also blessed with the participation of Mel Davis, of Globetrotter fame.

Neuroscience education, training and research, and biomedical engineering are just a few of the principal tools we identify as parts of the “full tool kit” critical to sustainable health care, as we partner with Ghana to transform Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital into a major West African resource and North American standard hospital.

The Surrey Leader mentioned the event and featured an image.

Our next planned fundraiser will come in early 2011, as we conduct our first KBNF Scrabble Tournament. We will keep you posted!


Dear Charity Fair and Garage Sale Team!

I trust you are all recovered from the events of Friday and Saturday. My, what an amazing time of teamwork and family. When Rick and I sat down over lunch in August, never did we appreciate all the work that would be done for the next many weeks, to achieve our goal of raising awareness, both corporately in the city but also in the community at large. Having a new website was the first accomplishment that took amazing teamwork and got done in record time. . .

To have the support of so many, including staff, foundation members and their friends and family, was incredible. Even before the events, much was donated in terms of preparatory time, donations for the garage sale, spreading the word around, securing other volunteers.

To have the family support of the Diamond family, including Rick, Sue, and Alyssa, and Alyssa’s boyfriend — just wonderful. Rick gives and gives and gives, and does not want recognition for himself, but to meet the objectives and reach the outcomes. He lives in his heart, and yearns for everyone else to live in their heart as well. Wearing the “for Seth” on the teeshirt sleeves was just wonderful. I have since forwarded a photo to Seth’s family to show him. It has already encouraged Seth to no end.

I know that Sue spoke from her heart as she shared the value of expert care and how it can make such a difference in West Africa. She has committed to helping further, and for that, I am most grateful. There are very few with neurological challenges, that will entire the public eye and speak. It has been a challenge in neuroscience for a long, long time. Sue did so with style and class and courage and passion. Thank you!

To have the family support of the Johal family, including Brian and his daughters and son-in-law. Giving of their entire day to the Fair and Garage Sale, doing whatever is asked of them, just tremendous. Brian’s people skills when potential customers came into the warehouse was refreshing and lively. Lots of laughter could be heard across the floor often . . .

Alethea and Jillian, just a mammoth 24/7 effort in recent weeks, to ensure we had things in order for the events. Attention to details is their forte, and they backed up their instructions with action. I commented that having not even known we existed in the summer, to spending their very breath on our project, every moment they possibly had available, including waking up in the middle of the night to plan another piece to the event, simply amazing. Balloons, silent auction items, were high on the agenda targeting a goal of $10,000, and this week, Rick continues to sell gift balloons to the corporate community to optimize our fundraising.

To have the support of the KBNC — UBC, led by Ash, just tremendous! Delivering flyers in Langley and Surrey, so appreciated. Always willing to help wherever it was most needed was the key word. Where can I be most effective? is what was asked and off they would go to do it.

For the Kwantlen Students led by Charles Quist-Adade, President of the GCABC, delivering flyers throughout the Surrey area.

To have the support of Renato, Karl, Rich, Shirley, Maria, Chelsea, Danny, and the whole Diamond Team, inspite of our tight timelines, and challenges, eager to help us make this weekend a success, thank you. Renato, to be committed to spreading the word about our foundation and helping us to be better and better, just wonderful. DD, as promised, your bathroom spruce up is coming soon!!

To the Diamond Delivery warehouse and truckers, led by Glen and his wonderful team . . . always supportive, helping above and beyond the call of duty, staying late at the office . . . for us . . . NEVER any tension or complaint ever . . . just amazing. . .

To my family, Danny and Diane Moe, and for their support and for Diane’s 4 colleagues, coming both days and giving freely . . . Danny, you inspired many as you expertly MCed the Corporate Luncheon. Giving a gift back, that’s what we are all about. We may ask, but we also want to give and you did that with style.

To our honored guests, the Surrey Councillers including Mary Martin, Richard Lee, MLA, North Burnaby, Dean Valli, centre for the BC Lions, and Miss BC Tara Teng, thank you for taking time away from busy schedules to contribute to our Luncheon and Fair. I have since met with Richard at his office, and he continues to offer his support to us. He thoroughly enjoyed the events and has posted a photo of himself and Rick at the ping pong site on his website. He was quite pleased with that, especially as the ball is captured in air.

Miss BC is passionate about her opportunity to make a difference in our province, country and world, as she hits human trafficking head on, desiring to stop it in its tracks. She was so gracious in her attendance and we applaud her. She’s heading to Ottawa to meet with the Senators next week and discuss what Canada needs to do to stop this in our country and abroad. We need to pray for her.

BC Lions’s chaplain, Dave Klassen, followed up with me Monday, asking how things went. That attention to detail and care will bode well for future requests.

A very special guest that made considerable effort to attend our Charity Fair and contribute is Mel Davis, of Globetrotters fame. Mel and his wife attended and in fact purchased the silent auction nativity set. Mel gave a demonstration and great support to our cause.

For Yvonne and Noelle and Daniel, for their Queen Mother procession and dance along with carrying things on your head the African way demonstration. Just great! This was captured by our PR team, Paul and Ruth, from AHA, coming in on their day off from Gibsons and sending off photos and notes to the media immediately thereafter. We trust we will see them in print this week. Keep a look out!

All of our KBNF family and friends, too many to name here, just amazing. Many of our members spent hours driving to locations to pick up garage sale items, a very time consuming endeavour. John, Derek, Kwabena, Brenda, Jocelyne, Ash (President KBNC — UBC) and others, spent time heading out sometimes daily to pick up items from all over the lower mainland. Others helped with flowers and donations and baking and making signs and filling in wherever the need arose.

Trucked in by Jocelyne and Norm, . . . flower baskets, hours and hours of labor from Sharon in my backyard, as we pulled them together. Norm and Ruth, Melissa, Damara, Brenda, Adele, Jocelyne with support from Charlie, owner of IGA Marketplace, selling flower baskets come torrential rain or shine, amazing.

Norm worked day and night, making sure signage was dealt with, flyers ready to go, details arranged, just to mention a few. Brad, Aaron and Colin, giving their time to take out flyers house to house, and helping set up. Melissa, helping to set up schedules and rolling up her sleeves whatever was needed, Aaron Asante, our faithful African music inspired DJ the whole of the day . . . outside, no less and never a complaint, but just happy to help . . . Just awesome!

The Garage Sale set up team included many and worked into the wee hours of the morning, requiring little to no sleep for the busy Saturday. Lynne, Norm, Melissa, Aaron, Ale, thanks so much! Jocelyne and Brenda, giving until there was simply no more left in “our engines”, incredible commitment. That work ethic is truly what makes us so special. It makes no difference if we are doctors, nurses or other professionals; this is a family that is focussed on the outcome, that of bringing world class health care to West Africa. And we’re doing it!

Westwood Lumber, housing a Diamond Delivery truck on the property, and for DD to take the expense of a truck sitting dormant when it could have been in service, again, this is what made the garage sale possible.

Our corporate sponsors would not have donated, had it not been for all of you reaching out and sharing our story and our vision and gripping the hearts of the corporate world that this project should be a focus of their support.

Many more should be specially mentioned, but suffice to say, the glory ultimately goes to God, for the opportunity to be a blessing, for blessing our efforts and for the ripple effect that is growing even now.

Rick would ask me repeatedly, what is the main reason for these events? I would respond: “To raise awareness in the community of who we are and what we are doing”. He would affirm, saying he didn’t care if “3 forks were sold”, it was all about raising awareness and community support long-term. Well, we have definitely raised awareness in many regions / companies that would not otherwise have heard about us. I continue to hear from them, even this morning.

I may have missed mentioning some of our team and I do apologize. Your contributions and commitment are not taken lightly and are totally appreciated. We will definitely be in touch with you in the coming days.

I pray that this will be a Fraser Valley launch that helps to catapult us to greater achievements in the months ahead in Vancouver and beyond. We’ll be sure to let you all know the amount raised as soon as the donations have finished coming in. Do keep going to the website, as we add information to it.

Blessings from above and love . . . to you all,




October 9 – General Update

I am only one, but still I am one. . . . [I’m trying to clone myself, but between you and me, if there is more than 1 Rick and /or Marj, the world likely would not survive as we know it!]. . . I cannot do everything . . . [but that doesn’t stop me from trying!], but still I can do something . . . [like sleep whether I need it or not]; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse [refuse? Me? Not a chance!] to do something that I can do.”

~ Helen Keller [edited by Marj] ~




Having a blast and trying to stay focussed on today’s tasks on hand for the upcoming KBNF charity fair and corporate luncheon events!!




Our KBNC UBC President, Ash, is working his heart out in the rain selling flowers and encouraging shoppers to donate . . . and attend the charity fair. Melissa, Todd, Kim and Damara take up the torch at Charlie’s IGA Marketplace selling our amazingly gorgeous fall flower baskets;




John and Jocelyne have become official KBNF truck drivers for the garage sale cause, . . . the corporate luncheon is moving ahead with 90% capacity now achieved, thanks to the amazing work of the Diamond Delivery team and Brian Johal of Westwood Lumbar.


What an amazing team of caring staff and friends.




We need volunteers to help with flyers to the community and sponsors for the events . . . if you have a few hours to donate, join with us!







Dear KBNF family and friends,

Time is marching on and our event planning and volunteer team is working full out to make sure that next weekend’s KBNF events are a super success. What would be considered a success? To raise awareness and long-term relationships among the business world of what is transpiring right under their nose here in Vancouver, and the transformative qualities of change in health care delivery for West Africa that they can be a part of…a pillar, a post, a tool kit of resources…

We are collecting garage sale items as quickly as we can and encourage everyone to check their crawl spaces, their garages, their closets, for anything that would be considered treasures to someone else and give us a call – and spread the word to your friends and family!

Thanks everyone,


News About Rev. Prof Seth Ayettey, KBNF Advisor and Friend

(Excerpted and edited from the emails of his friend Jim Thomas, Ghana Prisons Ministry)

Seth Ayettey is in Korle Bu Teaching Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg sustained in an armed robbery home invasion by five assailants at 01:00 Ghana time on October 5th. The thieves broke down many locked doors to gain access. The thieves took all the money in the house and they took the cell phones, and some jewelry.  They said the money was not enough and shot Seth before leaving, in the presence of his wife Cecilia and his seven-year-old daughter Naakai, known to many across North America as Baby Ceci, KBNF’s poster child.

The bullet entered the leg just above the knee and shattered the lower femur. He lost a lot of blood, but the surgeons were able to stabilize him. The operation lasted almost six hours. Another operation is scheduled for Saturday to do reconstructive surgery. Seth remains in ICU; he is talking and in reasonably good spirits.

The police captured four of the five assailants.  Apparently they had robbed five homes in the same manner.  The police set up a perimeter roadblock around East Legon (a district of Accra, Ghana) and the thieves tried to run it. Two were shot and killed and two captured, another escaped.

Discussions are under way to determine if Seth should be brought to the USA for reconstructive surgery to increase the chances of a better functional outcome of his leg.  Unfortunately, gunshot wounds are all too common in the US and their trauma hospitals are experts at these types of injuries. As Jim Thomas shares, “Our concern and major objective is to see that Seth gets the best care.”

Many have already offered financial support to Seth and Cecelia. Seth thanks everyone for their prayers and asks that everyone continue to pray for not only him, but also for the other victims and for the robbers. More information on how friends of KBNF can help Seth and his family will be posted as it becomes available. We will also keep you all fully informed of any developments.

Accepting Donations for KBNF Garage Sale

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation is accepting donations for our garage sale on Saturday, October 16 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

We are accepting: furniture, tools, jewelry, books, clothing, children’s toys, kitchen items, and household items. To donate, please call 1.877.468.6380.

For more information about the Charity Fair and Garage Sale, please click here.

Studio 4 with Fanny Kiefer

For those in the Lower Mainland, watch Marj Ratel on Studio 4 with Fanny Kiefer on Shaw TV on Tuesday, October 5.

Marj will be talking about KBNF and the Charity Fair & Garage Sale.

The live show airs from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and it will repeat at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Paul Holman


AHA Creative Strategies

A Letter To You

I was given an opportunity 10 years ago to support neurosurgery at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Today, we have an international team of experts in health care, finance, construction, etc., devoting their time and skills in partnership with Ghana to establish transformative contemporary health care for the West African region.

Much international aid work IS being done to help Africans; however, giving them a full tool kit to establish independence is simply not yet a reality.  A simple analogy goes like this. If you have nails, but not a hammer, and are trying to drive in a nail with your hand, eventually most would just give up believing it to be hopeless.  For decades, African doctors who deeply care about their people have been working with such limited resources, that it is next to impossible to provide anything beyond rudimentary care. Training an African as a neurosurgeon and then sending him home to practice with only a thermometer and tongue depressor for tools, well you get the picture. Consequently, the brightest students leave the continent to follow their dreams abroad. Autonomy will not be achieved in our lifetime. But . . .

What our Langley-based international team of volunteers and specialists are achieving is to provide a full tool kit, in full partnership with Ghana’s government, national hospital and university. This includes supporting the building of a new and sustainable contemporary hospital at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, an Emergency and Clinical Specialties Centre, teaching and training the nationals on their continent, and establishing a world class neuro-research centre for tropical disease studies affecting the brain and spinal cord. It is a mammoth undertaking, but it is being done.

Many Ghanaians are world-class specialists and we, in B.C., receive benefits from their superb skills.  Kofi Annan, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, is one example of a world leader who has recently returned home to build stability and advance the cause of Africa for the region.

Would you join with us? You would be a part of a world-class project literally breaking new ground. Please give us the opportunity of meeting you on October 16th and sharing these and more exciting developments.

In gratitude for your time and attention,

Marjorie Ratel RN BSN


Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation [B.C.] / Korle-Bu Foundation [Canada]

Fundraising Update

KBNF is going all out in October to fundraise in an innovative manner, with the help of Diamond Delivery. This is our first major fundraiser since the fall 2007 Table Tennis Tournament at Kwantlen University. The goal is to raise $30,000 to $50,000 (including corporate sponsorships). This is to give you an update (and advance warning that you are very much needed), so that you can mark your calendars and come prepared to put in a few hours, based on your abilities and availability. (You can also buy stuff at the sale!!!)

No. 1: Container shipment to Nigeria of medical supplies and equipment.

The 40 foot container will arrive Friday morning Oct 1st at the Diamond Delivery warehouse in Surrey (13350 Comber Way, Surrey, B.C. between King George Hwy and 132 St., just north of 72nd Ave).
 Strong people (aka men) are needed to load the beds upright into the container. Mattresses will be put between them. The skids will be loaded with the aid of DD forklift people, but the boxes will be piled to the ceiling, so a stepladder or two will be welcome (to work within the container).

It is planned to work on Friday till mid afternoon and to finish loading on Saturday morning Oct 2nd if necessary. (The container will be picked up and taken to the port on Monday Oct 4.)

The heavier boxes will be put in the bottom and the lighter ones on top, so some sorting of the boxes on the skids will be required. The boxes are labelled – white label with red border on the side of the box with an approximate weight to facilitate this.

The existing preliminary inventory of boxes etc. will require updating as items are packed.

Shipping the items stored at the DD warehouse is making room for the next event (in case it is indoors because of bad weather).

No. 2: Giant Garage Sale and Fair at the Diamond Delivery warehouse Sat Oct 16th.

Volunteers are required for many tasks over the next 3 weeks: Putting up posters, delivering flyers, collecting items for sale, manning the storage trailer at Westwood Lumber at times designated for drop off of items, sorting items in the 40 foot DD trailer (used to collect the sale items), etc. More info on this will be provided shortly.

On Friday, Oct 15th, volunteers will be needed to set up the tables and items for sale at the warehouse, to be ready to go the next morning.

Many volunteers will be needed on Saturday, Oct 16th (between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) to make sure all goes smoothly with the various activities and that sales are brisk and profitable for KBNF. Volunteers will also be needed at the end of the day to put the tables and left over items into a truck.

On Sunday, Oct 17th, a few volunteers will be needed to take (or accompany) the left over items in a truck for sale at the Abbotsford Flea market, thus tapping into new customers.

Volunteer Committee meetings and planning the events, are occuring every Saturday morning. The next one, on Sat, Sept 25th is to be in Richmond, location yet to be specified. I will keep you informed.

Vancouver people needing a ride on any of these dates can phone me for pick-up.

Plan to give a few hours of your time. Bring another helper along if you can.

Jocelyne Lapointe

KBNF Executive Committee Secretary