Do you know that for a child and family living with a life-threatening illness, normal means frequent trips to the emergency department, numerous missed days at school and at work, and constant bouts of pain and anxiety? Every moment, every day is like a precious gift for critically ill children and their families, who live with so much uncertainty.
Help us keep making life-changing wishes come true by organizing a fundraising event in your community. From sports tournaments and auctions to bake sales and dress down days at workplaces across the country, Children’s Wish events raise money that goes directly towards making the dream of a seriously ill child come true.
You can help by volunteering and give the gift of you to Children’s Wish
Children’s Wish was founded 30 years ago to bring a light of hope into the lives of these families. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Children’s Wish has never had to turn down a request from a child. But to ensure we can continue to make every wish come true, and to make it possible for us to help even more children and families, we need your help.
Help us bring the magic of happiness and healing to children, families and communities across Canada. Become a Children’s Wish volunteer today and join a dedicated, nationwide network of more than 4,000 Canadians who give their time and skills to help create moments of hope for children with serious conditions.
Become a Children’s Wish volunteer today
Our volunteers make a difference by pitching in at special events, providing support in our offices, coordinating fundraisers, and representing Children’s Wish in the community. They work hard and learn new skills while enjoying the camaraderie of other volunteers, Children’s Wish staff and Wish families.
Select your chapter to find volunteer opportunities in your area today
What better way to honour the life of a family member or friend?
Create a long lasting legacy. Talk to your financial advisor and Children’s Wish today about making a planned gift to the foundation, such as a bequest (Sample Bequest), charitable gift annuity, life insurance, charitable remainder trust, marketable securities (Gift of Securities), RRSP or RRIF. Email: email@example.com
Two years ago, Jack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). While his prognosis now is very good – he’s been given a 95% chance of survival – his treatment is grueling. Between constant blood tests, chemotherapy, and a spinal tap every 3 months, Jack, now 7, is in constant pain that requires physiotherapy.
You’d think when Jack was eligible for a wish from Children’s Wish, he’d choose to treat himself to something spectacular. Instead, all he wanted to do was pay it forward! Jack teamed up with Children’s Wish supporter Sam Struan and his Exile Island tribe, “Jack Attack”, and set out to raise the $10,000 average cost of a wish. Exile Island is our survivor-style challenge to fundraise for pending wishes – all in one day!
The story was covered by VanCity Buzz, and the reaction was instantaneous – the team reached their fundraising goal in less than 24 hours! But Jack isn’t stopping there, and as his story continues to spread, so does his excitement at being able to help grant wishes for other deserving children!
Paula's 10 year-old son Brandon was granted a wish in 2013, and since then Paula has been highly involved with The Children's Wish Foundation in Newfoundland. She organized her first Children’s Wish Wishmaker Walk last year, raising over $6000!
Brandon was born prematurely at just 27 weeks, weighing two pounds and four ounces. Within a few days of his birth, doctors noticed hemorrhaging on his brain, and as a result, Brandon was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. He spent a total of 102 days in the ICU, and has since endured a number of extensive surgeries.
Brandon's wish was to meet John Cena, and he got to go to WWE WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans! Brandon ended up meeting over 30 wrestlers!
Last year, Brandon penned "Wishes in the Air". It highlights his positive attitude and optimistic outlook on life.
Setting an example for all
With the announcement of the More Wishes More Wonders Campaign and the anticipated 20% increase in wishes, our major giving campaign is in full swing. We hosted a public launch on October 29th at Brunswick Square in Saint John where we were joined by media, board members, and donors. Carley Parish, our New Brunswick Chapter Advisory Board Chair, is a dedicated board member, contributes through Wills for Wishes (an initiative at her law firm), was the 2014 Wish Gala Chair, and a driving force behind our 2015 Wish Gala. Carley has generously kicked off our campaign with a commitment of $10,000 over the next 5 years! Thank you for your dedication to Children’s Wish!
We look forward to granting more wishes in New Brunswick to this emerging population to include children with serious neurological and genetic diagnoses, like severe cerebral palsy.
A wish that leads to a career
In 2010, Chef Michael Smith gratefully agreed to fulfill a wish from then 14 year-old Hunter. Hunter has cystic fibrosis, an often fatal lung condition, and his wish was to meet and cook with Chef Michael.
The two hung out together, shopped for food and picked vegetables from the garden as if they were old friends. It only further fueled Hunter’s passion for cooking and after high school, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute in Charlottetown. During his schooling, Hunter and Chef Michael kept in close contact, with Chef Michael helping out with school projects and attending his graduation this past May.
Chef Michael was so impressed that he recently hired Hunter to work for him at his new restaurant in Fortune, named Fireworks, “Hunter is an amazing cook. I’m proud to have him on my team.’’ A huge congratulations to Hunter and his achievements!
Josiah is a fun loving, active 9 year-old boy who lives in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. Josiah was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy at an early age. In 2013, he did not meet the criteria and was actually denied a wish. However, with the newly expanded mission to include serious genetic and neurological diagnoses, Josiah has been approved for a wish!
The New Brunswick Chapter used the new Puzzle Wish Wall at our recent 2nd Annual Wish Gala to raise enough funds to grant Josiah his Wish of a new sensory room. Each person who purchased a puzzle piece received a special thank you from Josiah for helping make his wish come true. This also helped to promote awareness around the new wishes and how it is changing the landscape of wish referrals.
A carefully considered gift
Laurie and Rick Hopkinson from Saskatoon, apply the same skill and passion to philanthropy that they bring to their business, Dynamic Glass & Door Ltd. “We set goals, we are very purposeful and we take nothing for granted,” says Laurie.
Rick and Laurie first made a gift of $25,000 to the Saskatchewan chapter of Children’s Wish after conducting the necessary “due diligence.” They did research, asked questions and requested to meet with directors to gauge each organization’s accountability. After that inaugural gift, they pledged another very significant amount. They continue to be active as volunteers and ambassadors for Children’s Wish.
When asked why they decided to align their philanthropic goals with children, Rick says, “I just wanted to see kids’ wishes come true in the same way that our dreams have come true.”
When thinking of Mateo, 7, diagnosed with leukemia and, Steven, 13, who has lymphoma, two boys they have helped directly, Laurie said, “These kids seem to handle disease much differently than an adult because they haven’t lived long enough to know how bad things can get. I think that we can learn a lot from them in terms of our own priorities,” says Laurie.
A tragedy turns into a legacy
Julie Hamilton has been supporting Children’s Wish for many years and truly understands the power of a wish. When her daughter Maggie was diagnosed with a brain tumour, they were granted a Wish trip to the Caribbean. Tragically, months after returning from their wish trip, Tim was killed in a workplace accident.
Since then, Julie has turned tragedy into a commitment to making a difference. In lieu of a fee for her workplace safety presentations, Julie requests that monies be donated to Children’s Wish.
The Tim Hamilton Endowment, has been in existence for over 13 years, accumulating nearly $650,000. These gifts have translated to a significant legacy of wish granting that will forever benefit deserving children.
In 2009, Julie joined the Advisory Board with the Alberta Chapter, in an effort to expand upon her support. That same year, Julie also joined “Wish Ambassadors”, a select group of wish moms who provide advice to chapter staff on wish granting policy and practices while also serving as public speakers at events throughout the year.
Give Kids The World, one of the happiest places on earth
Each year, Children’s Wish receives many requests from children wishing to visit the theme parks in Central Florida. Our Wish children often stay at a special resort called Give Kids The World Village, which is filled with 144 villas, an enchanted Carousel, and magical entertainment venues. Families receive special visits from Village ‘royalty’, Santa, and characters from the theme parks. The entire resort was built specifically for Wish children and their families – the perfect escape from the battles these families face every day. The best part is that there’s all day ice cream in the Ice Cream Palace!
More than 2000 Wish kids and their families have stayed at Give Kids The World over a 7 year partnership with Children’s Wish. Caroline Schumacher, Vice President of Operations, says, “Children’s Wish is much more than an strategic partner, we are partners in wishes. GKTW Village feels honored to have the trust of Children’s Wish that we will do everything in our power to fulfill all the magic and wonder that is promised in the wish-granting process. We are committed to providing the perfect experience for each family. We are grateful to Children’s Wish for this continued partnership.”
Patrick, father of Michael, 9, said, “Everybody had the time of their lives in Florida, and created memories that will stay with all of them forever!”
Blue Cross, valued partner and provider of peace of mind
Blue Cross has been providing travel and medical coverage for our Wish families for the last 26 years, and is one of Children’s Wish’s most valued partners. Not only are the families covered, but any medical attendants or translators needed also receive insurance. This professional support greatly contributes to our families’ peace of mind when they embark on their wish trip.
Wish families know that should anything related to travel or medical emergencies happen during their wish trip, Blue Cross is there to support them while they are away from home.
So far, Blue Cross has provided coverage for nearly 12,000 of our Wish kids and their families over almost 3 decades.
“We are extremely thankful for Blue Cross. Having that peace of mind was the glue that held all of the amazing pieces of the puzzle together. Without it, Maya's wish of going to visit Disney would not have happened.”
— Daniel, Maya’s father
L to R: Mary Szunyik, Val Yuzik, Laura Roberts, Kathy Richard
Rose Rudko, builder and philanthropist
Paul and Rose Rudko owned and operated Rudrose Construction for many years, building homes in Winnipeg, as well as shopping centres around the city.
After Paul’s death, Rose gave generously to many organizations, including The Children’s Wish Foundation, Manitoba and Nunavut Chapter.
Children’s Wish has been the beneficiary of nearly $1 million from Rose, with $725,000 in donations over a 5 year period, and an additional $216,000 most recently from her estate. Rose is the single, highest individual donor in Children’s Wish history.
Rose was a gentle and compassionate woman who cared about the community she lived in and, especially for the well-being of children. She would visit the Chapter often and spread humour and joy in the stories and life experiences she shared.
Rose has since passed away, but her memory and legacy will live on in the many that loved her and those who continue to benefit from her gracious generosity and the special experience of many wishes granted.
RumRunners raise over $1M across the miles!
On August 24, members of the P.E.I. RumRunners hockey club were recognized at the Children’s Wish office for a major milestone. Through charity golf tournaments held in both Calgary and P.E.I. through the years, the RumRunners have now raised over $1 million!
Over the last 10 years, money raised was shared equally between the P.E.I. and Alberta/Northwest Territories chapter.
“It’s all about the kids,’’ said Dennis Carmichael, a RumRunners member originally from Sherwood and now in Calgary.
“It’s heart-wrenching to listen to the stories and see what the kids go through. For them to be able to show up to some of our events with a smile on their face, knowing what they’ve gone through or are going through is nothing short of amazing.’’
Carmichael said even though most of the team are in Calgary, many have roots that run deep in P.E.I. “We have a few guys on the team who had some family members in P.E.I. whose children had received wishes,’’ Carmichael said.
One wish turns into two!
Robyn was only 5 weeks old when she needed to have open-heart surgery to repair one of her two congenital heart defects. For the next 6 years, Robyn would require medication 2 to 3 times daily and continued medical care with regular visits, tests and monitoring of her heart rhythm.
After a successful procedure to repair her arrhythmia, Robyn was finally ready to go on her Wish trip to Disney World in Florida and to take her big sister Rebecca to the Bibbity Bobbity Beautique.
As part of their trip, the family also visited Sea World, where Rebecca had her own ‘wish’ come true when she met and fed a dolphin named Jack!
Robyn is now an active and busy 11 year old who loves to figure skate, dance, draw, write, ski, and fish. She loves to cook and bake cookies with her mom too! Her Wish trip has left a lasting and deep impact in her life; now she even enjoys fundraising for Children’s Wish Foundation, donating over $550 to date!
A wish family gives back
At only 7 weeks old, Phoenix Borrowman was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, and had multiple cardiac arrests in her first few months of life until a heart donor was found.
Having personally experienced the power of a wish, Phoenix’s parents were eager to help with another child’s wish. Together with their Almonte Home Furniture employees, the Borrowmans met with another wish child and developed a plan to reflect his love for movies and video games. The big reveal came just before his 10th birthday. While he was at school, the staff from Almonte Home Furniture furnished his ultimate games room. His new room had gaming chairs, a Stanley Cup popcorn machine, and an XBOX; not a single detail was missed. The team truly captured this wish child’s unique personality and his room has become something that he can enjoy with his family and friends for years to come.
Marco Polo Wish Granters and camper extraordinaires!
Camping is one of the best ways to spend quality time with family; and Marco Polo Land, in Cavendish, PEI, is one of the most popular camping destinations for thousands of Islanders and tourists alike.
For one seasoned Marco Polo camper, Cindy Deacon, just camping wasn’t enough. She led the way in organizing and implementing a fundraising initiative in support of the PEI Chapter. With help from two other extraordinary volunteers, Anne and Chad, they made it their mission to raise as much as they could this summer. Through weekly 50/50 prize draws all summer, they were able to raise an incredible $8,500!
The story doesn’t end there; a special group of elementary-aged kids stepped up to the plate and traded in their video game time for jewelry and popcorn stands! All summer long, the Marco Polo Kids sold necklaces, bracelets and popcorn, raising over $550! They plan to start fundraising even earlier next year.
Well done, Marco Polo Wish Granters!
Shediac Motorcycle Rally revs up support!
Hundreds of motorcycles from all over Atlantic Canada revved their engines for a weekend of fun from August 28-31 in Shediac, New Brunswick.
Many festivities took place that weekend including BBQ’s, bands, 50/50 draws, and more. Saturday was the main event! The weekend was kicked off with a special biker’s breakfast, with Children’s Wish volunteers serving up food and Wish teen Benoit and family giving a special greeting before the participants departed. That evening, there was a dinner and a draw for multiple prizes!
This has turned into an iconic and highly anticipated event for Shediac. We are so grateful for their generosity! With a goal of raising $12,000, we are keen to confirm the final total and generous cheque presentation from this dedicated motorcycle rally committee.
Sea Dogs’ Wallace McCain Memorial Alumni Weekend raises another $10k!
On August 8th, the Sea Dogs Foundation held their annual Wallace McCain Memorial Alumni weekend in support of The Children's Wish Foundation, New Brunswick Chapter.
Harbour Station Arena was filled with spectators to watch dozens of Sea Dogs players lace up their skates to participate in the 2nd annual alumni game. Players flew in from all over to take part, including current NHL players, Jonathan Huberdeau with the Florida Panthers, Simon Després with the Anaheim Ducks, and Nathan Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens.
Players stayed until hundreds of fans received autographs. A live auction and reception at Rocky's Sports Bar included great items such as a Wayne Gretzky autographed game-worn jersey and autographed sticks to be won.
The Sea Dog Foundation presented a cheque for $10,000 to Children’s Wish, New Brunswick Chapter Director, Gerry Beresford, on ice before the puck drop at their home opener. We are proud to be partnered with the hockey community!
EWCC/Veresen raises $15k for a Wish trip to Scotland
A Windsor, Ontario company continues to put all their power into helping to grant wishes for some remarkable children and their families. The East Windsor Cogeneration Centre/Veresen, a power generation company, raised more than $15,000 at their 8th Annual Charity Golf event.
Wish child Andrew and his family attended the event and were very excited as his Wish was beginning the very next day as they embarked on a trip to Scotland.
Knowing Andrew’s excitement about his Scottish Wish, and wanting to give him a spectacular “bon voyage”, EWCC/Veresen pulled out a big surprise. Bagpipers greeted Andrew and his family! It was a memorable moment for Andrew and the countless sponsors, attendees and supporters of the event.
Thank you EWCC/Veresen, you are a true powerhouse of wish granting!
How a morning coffee can inspire the gift of wishes
A few months ago, a good friend of the BC & Yukon Chapter was enjoying a morning coffee at a popular Vancouver coffee shop. In the frenzy of bumping elbows and eager customers, she struck up a conversation with another customer. The conversation turned to Children’s Wish and a new friend was found.
This brief exchange over coffee has since led to meetings between a local RBC Dominion Securities Branch and Children’s Wish staff. Just a few months later, a gift of $5,000 from the RBC Foundation has been received, thanks to this new coffee shop friend.
In addition to securing this significant gift from the RBC Foundation, this special individual has also committed to help share our expanded wish granting to now include children with serious neurological and genetic disorders, like severe cerebral palsy, and to additionally support in raising funds needed.
He will be launching a luncheon with RBC Dominion Securities to inspire colleagues to also support the joy of wish granting.
National Bank Employees lend their support
For more than 30 years, Children’s Wish has worked tirelessly to grant heartfelt wishes to more than 22,000 children and their families, 7,000 of who are in Québec.
To encourage their employees to volunteer, the bank created a program where for every hour an employee gives towards a community cause, National Bank would donate $1 to a charity devoted to children’s well-being, selected through an internal survey. This year, the Children’s Wish Foundation was chosen. The result: employees volunteered 100,000 hours of their time, raising $100,000 for Children’s Wish. Thanks to the National Bank Volunteer Program, Children’s Wish can continue to bring the magic of a Wish to Canadian children and families who need it most.
From left to right: Marie-Andrée Farmer, Advisor - Philanthropy activities, Renée Delisle, Élizabeth’s mother, Lise-Anne Amyot, Vice-President – Brand and Client Experience, Élizabeth Morin, Rémy Morin, Élizabeth’s father, Jonathan Prunier, Manager - Donations and sponsorships, Juli Meilleur, Director of the Children's Wish Foundation for Quebec, and Raphaël Morin, Élizabeth’s brother.
In August of 2009, Steven complained of a sore shoulder. The family thought it was just a dirt biking injury but after 2 weeks without improvement, his doctor ordered some bloodwork. Steven was found to have an aggressive cancer called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.
Steven wanted to let his family know that they would weather the storm of his illness together and he wished for a camper trailer.
“Sometimes people are driven apart by this in a family,” explained his mom Carey, “Something like this wish is that little thing that can bring people back together and remind them how important family is. Steven would say ‘when I feel better, we’ll be able to go camping together.’ Sick kids need that light at the end of the tunnel.”
In July of 2010, Steven and his family had their first trip in their new Children’s Wish camper to Waskesiu Lake. Steven dealt with a tough year of chemotherapy and surgeries. Since his last treatment, he has been cancer free, and just graduated high school last year. He is now working as a lineman apprentice. What a great story of how Wishes Can Work Wonders!
We’re growing at Children’s Wish – granting new wishes
The Children’s Wish Foundation has always been the leader in wish granting in Canada. In 2010, we moved from an illness-based criteria list to a set of High-Risk Life Threatening Principles (HRLTPs) to define the medical eligibility of children. Our objective in doing this was to allow our eligibility criteria to evolve in parallel with improvements in medicine; that year, we saw a 23% increase in wish referrals! Over the last 2-3 years though, having seen a flat-lining in our referrals, our Board and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) initiated discussions on broadening our criteria.
We considered a variety of approaches and looked closely at how quality of life issues might impact our wish granting criteria; discussions centered around reaching those most in need, which led us to expand our HRLTP #3 to include children with severe Cerebral Palsy and severe metabolic or genetic conditions. These conditions represent an emerging population who may not have survived 10-20 years ago. Advancements in medicine mean that these kids are now surviving, but are left with incredible challenges to their health and quality of life.
The MAC estimated that including these children might mean an annual increase of 100-200 wishes. Based on early results, we are right on track, and we’re thrilled to provide the incredible gift of a wish to these deserving kids. Over 120 such kids have been approved for a wish to date! The MAC will continue to assess this and other potential illness areas so that CWF can continue to grow to reach deserving children. Please join us as in our More Wishes, More Wonders Campaign, focussed on the additional fundraising needed for these new children’s wishes.
Lea Legge, RN works as a Pediatric Cardiology Nurse for the Variety Heart Centre and has been involved with the Children’s Wish Foundation for nearly 20 years, referring hundreds of children for wishes.
As a Board Member, Lea became more deeply involved with the wish granting process by proactively communicating to the medical community the appropriate procedures to ensure each and every eligible child is referred to Children’s Wish. Having taken the initiative, Lea has become one of our key referral sources, not only with the children suffering from cardiac complications, but our liaison to other referral sources within the medical community, including other nurses, social workers and physicians.
Not only has Lea participated in wishes, she has also taken an active part in fundraising. She volunteers with various projects and promotes ticket sales and sponsorship for events in her community. And when she can, she travels to Edmonton or Toronto with her patients for heart surgery.
To date, Lea has made over 500 referrals to The Manitoba & Nunavut Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation. Thank you so much Lea for all your contributions and hard work to help grant children’s wishes!
Giving back with WOD for Wishes
What an inspirational day at the 2nd annual Work Out of the Day (WOD) for Wishes event hosted by Fundy Cross Fit Saturday, June 13th! Last year, Rob participated as a dad; this year, he has come back to participate as a Wish Dad.
Only a few months prior to the event, Wish Child Claire, 7, and her family had the time of their life on a Land and Sea Disney Cruise. Wish Dad Rob felt compelled not only to participate again this year, but also delivered what could only be described as a heartfelt story of how the Children’s Wish Foundation has touched their lives.
Along with 60 other participants, Wish Dad Rob took part in a strenuous workout, knowing that every bead of sweat and repetition was making a difference for another child like his daughter, Claire.
With the whole room radiating with motivation, WOD for Wishes well exceeded their goal and raised over $8500 for the Children’s Wish New Brunswick Chapter.
ScotiaMcleod Downtown Wishmaker Mini Putt
On Saturday, June 13th, Moncton area businesses converted their offices and storefronts into an amazing, fun and interactive mini putt course for the Annual ScotiaMcleodDowntown Wishmaker Mini Putt.
Over 80 participants got creative by trading in their usual corporate attire for quirky themed outfits, and setting out for a day filled with fun. This year, the uniquely fashioned event raised over $17,000 for Children’s Wish.
A few weeks later, ScotiaMcLeod visited the Saint John Children’s Wish office and really had a chance to see how they’ve made a difference by presenting Wish Child Caeleigh with her much anticipated New York Wish Trip. Caeleigh and her family were overjoyed and expressed their gratitude for corporate leaders like ScotiaMcleod who make an opportunity of a lifetime come true for Wish Families like theirs.
Team Building in its purest form
Each fall, generous corporate entities compete at Exile Island,widely considered Newfoundland & Labrador’s most exciting pledge-based fundraiser. It’s a mix of the ancient concept of island banishment with the excitement of the reality show Survivor and its challenges. This team-building event is a highly successful and completely unique experience. Corporate tribes of 5are paired with a Wish Child with the challenge of raising a minimum of $10,000to grant that child’swish.
Caitlin Spinney and Janine Brown have decided to embrace a challenge of their own! Inspired to give to a Wish Child, they’ve put down a challenge to their social network to join their team. It’s a new twist and concept in the Exile team building process. They hope to have their 5 member team in place by the day of the event, September 25th.
“I am so excited to be participating in Exile Island this year”, says Janine. “It isan incredible opportunity to help wishes comes true for very special children while having a blast with co-workers and friends. I am looking forward to an exciting adventure and to giving our wish child her ultimate Disney dream come true!”
Caitlin adds, “Exile Island is an excellent opportunity to get involved withthe Children’s Wish Foundation in a fun and interactive way. I believe every child deserves to have their wishes come true, and to get to experience everything life has to offer so what better way to help children’s wishes come true than by making memories of your own with co-workers and friends!”
Myah’s Mission: kids granting kids wishes
For 11-year-old Myah, the holiday spirit came early and moved her in an incredible way. It was over breakfast one October morning last year when Myah announced to her family she wanted to waive Christmas gifts and grant a wish to a child with a life-threatening illness. What a mature idea – a kid granting another kid a wish.
“Myah’s Mission” was launched October 2014 with a flurry of social media activity and a dedicated website launched by Children’s Wish. A family skate, bracelet sale and a host of public appearances by Myah caught the attention of her community, business owners and public officials. She sent a message to Paradise Mayor, Dan Bobbett, “I hope that you’re supporting Myah’s Mission… and I hope that soon we can have a community skate at the new arena. So, thank you for building that.” she wrote, exuding confidence of someone much older.
Lisa, Myah’s mom, suggested, “I really believe that when people sense a generous spirit, especially from a child, that people tend to want to do the right thing. And the response has been overwhelming.”
The donations flowed in steadily. Myah’s Mission caught the attention of Cabot Ford owner, Trevor Clarke. Mr. Clarke was so inspired by the passion and creativity expressed by this young lady, he matched her fundraising efforts on behalf of his dealership, bringing in a total of $20,000 for Myah’s Mission. A 10-year-old named Kaylee, currently in treatment with a brain tumor, will have her dream to swim with dolphins realized because of Myah.
Myah’s on a new mission this year to raise another $20,000 by December.
Retirees get wishes granted too
Dawn Thomas is a resident of the Rockcliffe Retirement Residence. This past year, a select group of residents were provided the opportunity to have their wish granted by the parent company of their residences. Some chose to tour special places, arriving by rickshaw, others chose to meet war heroes past and present.
Dawn chose to pay it forward and raise funds to grant the wish of local area child. After dance-a-thons, ice-cream socials and the generosity of her fellow residents, Dawn raised $1500 to help Gabo, a brave little boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, go to Lego Land. Dawn says she hopes that her idea of starting this initiative will continue for years to come and that they will hold an annual fundraiser for Children's Wish soon.
Wish Child Carley’s school honours her memory
Carley Ellands, a brave little girl, was affected by Cerebral Palsy and Dandy Walker Syndrome, as well as hydrocephalus, and a seizure disorder. She had her wish to visit Disney World with her family granted in 2012.
Unfortunately, on Mother’s Day of 2014, Carley passed away due to complications from her illnesses. This year, Carley would have graduated from Grade 6. The school decided in early fall to do something special to honour her memory.
A series of events took place over the course of the year, all based on Carley’s favorite things. Her favorite music, her favorite candy, her favorite colours; thoughtful care was put into all aspects. The school kept a large fundraising thermometer on the wall of their front lobby and the children watched it rise!
Carley’s twin sisters continue to attend the school and were very involved the whole year. At the end of the school year, the principal asked the family who they would like to receive the money and they chose the Children’s Wish Foundation.
At a very emotional ceremony on graduation day with Carley’s mother and twin sisters in attendance, this small school of just over 200 children presented a cheque for nearly $1500.
Wish Dad Gives Back - HMCS Charlottetown Run for Wishes
HMCS Charlottetown conducted its 13th annual “Run For Wishes” campaign in PEI from June 29th to July 5th, 2015. “Run For Wishes” is a charitable effort centered around a volunteer relay run across PEI. It was initiated in 2003 by members of the ship’s company to raise funds for a worthwhile cause in the ships namesake province. Thanks to the enthusiasm and support from Islanders, the event has grown significantly in visibility, volunteerism and success. To date, HMCS Charlottetown has raised $375,000 for this cause.
One team member, Sub.-Lt. Adam Vaters, from Lawrencetown, N.S., knows all too well the power and impact of a wish granted. His son, Brayden was granted his wish of a backyard playground last year. Brayden was born with an immune-deficiency syndrome and received a bone marrow transplant at just four months old. His illness prevents him from playing in public because germs could prove to be life-threatening. The playground has allowed him to enjoy playing outside in a less risky environment.
Adam remembers the day Brayden’s wish was granted like it was yesterday.
“To see the look on his face, I mean, I guess I can’t really put it into words for you, but it was … it was amazing.”
Taking part in “Run For Wishes” was an incredible opportunity for Adam to give back and help grant wishes for other deserving children.
“I feel very proud doing this and I hope many children here on Prince Edward Island can benefit the way that my son did,” said Adam.
A perfect match with Ronald McDonald House for the Graham Slam Charity Golf Tournament
Early this spring, Children’s Wish Saskatchewan Chapter was asked partner with the Graham and Ruby DeLaet Foundation and their charity golf tournament. With a short time frame to plan and execute, we explored an opportunity to partner with one of our stakeholders, Ronald McDonald House, Saskatchewan. Over the years, many of our Wish families have stayed at Ronald McDonald House during their weeks and months of treatments, or hospital stays, with their children suffering life-threatening illnesses. We thought this partnership opportunity was a perfect match!
As it turned out, Wish Child Clara stayed at the House in Saskatoon over 120 nights while receiving treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Clara and her mom, Corine, were at the Graham Slam Charity Golf Tournament on July 9th, sharing their story of their stays at the House; and Clara also told us she’d like to go to Disney World to see Jurassic Park!
The Ronald McDonald House “has made such a difference in our lives. The employees and volunteers treat us like family. Clara loves the girls and guys that come and play with her when we are there…you feel very cared for when you are staying at Ronald McDonald House.”
At the end of the night, Clara serenaded the crowd with a beautiful rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with singer/songwriter, Joe Horowitz. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience! It was evening to remember for folks who spent the day golfing in 35°C heat with Saskatchewan PGA Tour golfer, Graham DeLaet.
After being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in 2011, Michael’s world came to a screeching halt. He endured an amputation of his lower leg and aggressive chemotherapy treatments. With so much of his time spent in the hospital, Michael needed something positive to focus on. The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada wanted to lift his spirits and, following his valiant fight against cancer, granted his wish to go on an Alaskan cruise with his family. The wish, with his parents and two brothers, was one of the most memorable weeks of their lives. It was an opportunity for the family to put the difficult medical journey behind them and celebrate Michael’s healing and his future. Since his wish, Michael has been living each day to the fullest. He has taken up wakeboarding, camping, skating, kayaking with friends and exploring the wilderness with his camera. Michael was honoured with The Cornell Award from Scouts Canada, the highest award given in Scouting, for his courage and endurance under extreme conditions, and was awarded the Michael Canovale Award for Model of Hope at his high school graduation. Michael has been accepted to all the colleges he applied to and will be studying to be a commercial airline pilot.
Congratulations Michael on all your many accomplishments!
Adrienne Taylor is a Canadian country singer/songwriter who recently went to Nashville to record a song called 3,000 Words. The inspiration for her song came after Adrienne read a story about a young girl who had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma and passed away shortly after her 13th birthday (To read the full story click here). Adrienne was so touched by her stories. Adrienne’s cousin Natasha had been diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was eight-years-old, and Adrienne watched as her cousin suffered through chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. Natasha was granted a wish from Children’s Wish, and her whole family got to enjoy her wish with her. Writing 3,000 words came easy for Adrienne as she had such a connection to the young girls story. The song, 3,000 Words will be released to Canadian Country Radio in early November. Adrienne is donating all of the proceeds from the iTunes Downloads to The Children’s Wish Foundation. “I feel it is such a great way for people to make a donation. It’s a small price but potentially could be huge and my goal is to raise money so other children can have their wish come true,” Adrienne said. If you would like to preview Adrienne’s song 3,000 Words click here.
Five-years-old Conor’s wish was for his very own tree house. When Conor was three-years-old he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Shortly after his diagnosis, Conor was granted his wish. The Royal Canadian Mint teamed up with Conor during Exile Island Winnipeg to create Team “Minting for Conor”. The team raised over $10,000, making Conor’s wish a reality. After a summer of planning, Conor’s tree house was ready to be built. Design-Built is the company that built Conor’s tree house. “We are over the moon with Conor’s tree house. He has had so many friends over to play and it has been a huge hit with kids and parents alike,” said Conor’s mom, Morgon. Conor has started kindergarten, and is following successful treatments, and could not be more happy with his wish.
Major Donor Dave Lacey - Lending Leadership and Dollars
Dave Lacey, CEO of Brookfield Real Property Solutions, father, husband, executive, racecar driver and philanthropist has been happy to lend “leadership and dollars” to Children’s Wish for 25 years now, serving on the National and Ontario Boards and as a driving force behind several fundraising initiatives. Lacey has led what many would see as an adventurous and accomplished life, since moving from South Africa to Canada at 12. “My parents arrived with absolutely nothing; my dad is a self-made man who rose to become a top executive. Canada has been extremely good to us and I was raised with a strong sense of philanthropy,” says Lacey. Lacey, now 46, was introduced to Children’s Wish in his mid-twenties through Jeff Pabst, who helped create the Children’s Wish Ride-A-Long, a unique day of racing and exotic cars for wish children at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park that has raised $450,000 to date. Additionally, the Lacey family managed Doncaster Foundation has donated an astounding $150,000 over the years. “Children’s Wish has a clear mandate, granting wishes to children across Canada with life threatening illnesses. It allows us to see the journey of the child and their family and the direct impact of the wish,” Lacey says. Lacey’s involvement with Children’s Wish continues to evolve as his personal life continues to change as well. “Becoming a father has certainly changed the way I live my life. Being involved with Children’s Wish is very grounding. Every person can give back in some way. Children’s Wish needs your help.”
Twelve corporate teams from the Trois-Rivières region took part in the Tournée gourmande sponsored by La Fernandière, an important Children’s Wish partner. The teams, each made up of eight participants, attended an upscale dinner served in four different gastronomic restaurants. Each of them offered its speciality dish with a glass of selected wine. Every team was also transported on board luxurious limousines where delicious treats were also served. A total of $12,000 was raised for Children’s Wish through this event. More precisely, the gift will allow the Foundation to grant Ariane, a child from the Trois-Rivières area, to be granted her most heartfelt wish: going on a Disney cruise with her whole family!
Jocelyne and Claude Giguère
Recipient of the Laura Cole Award
The Children’s Wish Foundation honours Jocelyne and Claude Giguère this year with the Laura Cole Volunteer of the Year award. For Jocelyne and Claude, volunteering at Children’s Wish began as a tribute to their daughter, Marjorie. More than 20 years ago, Marjorie had her wish granted, and through that unforgettable experience, Jocelyne and Claude have demonstrated unwavering commitment and enthusiasm for Children’s Wish. Because of their personal experience as wish parents, Jocelyne and Claude are able to quickly establish rapport and trust with wish families. Their efforts have led to more than 400 wishes and thousands of dollars raised for wish children and their families. Thank you, Jocelyne and Claude, for your generosity and lifelong commitment to Children’s Wish.
Canada Cycles For Kids
Cycling across Canada for Wishes
In 2002, Marc Balevi and Rob Fetherstonhaugh, combined their love of cycling and their passion for helping children, and created Canada Cycles for Kids. Each year a team embarks on a bicycle tour and this year they cycled from Calgary to Vancouver in 11 days. Throughout the years they have cycled across all of Canada and to date, CCFK has cycled close to 12,000 kilometers. Their ultimate goal was to raise $500,000 for Children’s Wish and Canada Cycles For Kids has surpassed their goal. CCFK continues to raise funds for Children’s Wish.
Going the distance for Children’s Wish
To raise $370,000 for Children’s Wish, the eight cyclists of Team Xstrata pedaled over 4,800 kilometres to cross the finish line as part of Race Across America, one of the world’s longest running endurance sport events. Team captain Shaun Usmar, Chief Financial Officer of Xstrata, a leading global diversified mining company, says it’s the children struggling with life-threatening illnesses who are the true heroes. “They are the ones that set the example for strength, fortitude and endurance,” he says. “They are our heroes.”