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Child of former Arlington firefighter receives support for medical care

One-month-old Mason Garka is receiving treatment for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare heart defect which requires multiple surgeries to repair. - Photo courtesy of the Garka family.
One-month-old Mason Garka is receiving treatment for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare heart defect which requires multiple surgeries to repair.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Garka family.

ARLINGTON Arlington, Stanwood and Bryant firefighters are teaming up on behalf of one of their own July 19, and they hope their communities will pitch in.

The firefighters are staging a car wash and barbecue fundraiser July 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arlington Haggen Food and Pharmacy to support one-month-old Mason Garka.

Mason's father, Greg Garka, was a volunteer firefighter from 1998-2000, after which he went to Evangel University. Both he and his wife Kelsey are Arlington High School graduates. Their son Mason was born June 20 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare heart defect. HLHS is an underdevelopment of the left ventricle of the heart. In most cases, it requires multiple surgeries to repair. Mason has already undergone his first surgery.

"This is a great opportunity for us to show our support of the Garka family," said Kerry Munnich, aunt of Kelsey Garka.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward doctor bills, as well as medical and living expenses, for the Garkas' stay at the Seattle Children's Hospital. A benevolence fund has been set up in Kelsey and Greg Garka's name at Washington Mutual, and Haggen has donated all the food items for the barbecue. For updates on Mason's progress, log onto www.masongarka.com.

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