Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation

The Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation was founded in 2001, though had been active long before, to raise funds for the Stollery Children's Hospital. Named for the Foundation's founders, the Stollery aims to provide superior healthcare to very ill children and to children with unique health needs.
Our children see more specialists at the Stollery than I can count on my fingers. Like me, my biological children are autistic. Being autistic is not an illness but it can present some challenging co-morbid conditions and some needs that require specialized attention (if only anesthesia for examinations.) Between specialized paediatric dentists and specialized paediatric neurologists, MRIs, CAT scans, the Stollery has helped our two youngest in numerous ways. But they are not sick.

Many children who enter the Stollery are very sick. The Stollery was still new when I, as a child, was prepared by family and friends for the death of the child who was then my best friend. Her illness was a mystery; it was the early 80s and there was speculation of AIDS, then hepatitis... but tests came back negative time and again. Despite negative tests, she deteriorated. And, as inexplicable as her condition was, so to was her recovery. We were both 10 years old; she didn't die.

Those who know my family know that my oldest biological child and youngest stepchild participate annually in the Hair Massacure, a fundraiser that benefits the Stollery and other organizations that support sick children, primarily focused on children with cancer. We became involved with Team Aaron through his aunt. My stepson had already participated in Hair Massacure; we came to know of Aaron when he was 8 and had been declared in remission. He had been through treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma. Unjustly, unfairly, having been diagnosed at 4, he had two declarations of remission after a full year of being cancer-free each time. Unlike my friend who did not die at 10 years old, Aaron did. He spent most of his life in and out of the Stollery and fundraising whether he was in a cancer-free period with as much devotion as he had from his hospital bed at what would be his final Hair Massacure. The Stollery was there for Aaron and his family at every turn.

So many stories of children who have entered the Stollery and never left or have entered the Stollery and left with clean bills of health could be told. What matters is the care received while there. The Stollery Children's Hospital supports children and their families with exceptional heathcare and care at some of the most difficult times of their lives.

There is no monetary value that can be put on what the Stollery does. However, there are financial costs to the operation of the Stollery, to in patient and out patient programs, that are in dire need of support.

Please join me in donating to the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, the organization that provides that needed funding, to ensure that all children in the hospital get the best care possible and that through funded research, more and more children leave healthy, having entered sick.

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