Spirit of Giving

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Celebration of life.

Brad Jacobs is the Vice President of Development at the IWK Foundation

Today was a special day at the IWK as we celebrated the life of Charlie MacDougall with some of his family and the staff at the IWK. Charlie was an oncology patient at the IWK, who unfortunately left us too soon at the age of 14.

Father of Charlie MacDougall and IWK Staff

In 2005, Charlie’s parents, Chris and Karen MacDougall, established the Charlie MacDougall Trust Fund to support the Haematology/Oncology Unit at the IWK. The fund was established with a generous donation by the MacDougall family, as well as several contributions over the years from their friends and family.

As we celebrated the naming of an activity area in Charlie’s honor, I was overwhelmed by the impact Charlie has left on the staff at the IWK. I have had the pleasure of assisting Chris and Karen with the fund since 2005, and during that time, I learned about the passing of Charlie after three and a half years of treatment. Each time I spoke with Chris I could feel his love for Charlie and the sadness the family feels in losing their son.

I never met Charlie, but he clearly struck a special chord with many, which was evident by the presence of doctors, nurses and administrators that participated in the room naming event in Charlie’s honor. It is also clear that he deeply touched the lives of his friends, who still honor him to this day by visiting the MacDougall’s annually on the anniversary of Charlie’s passing on December 28th.

We are thankful to the MacDougall family for making this wonderful donation, so that we can continue to help children like Charlie and their families for years to come. The gifts from the family range from equipment – a blood machine to facilitate home monitoring of coagulation levels – to comfort items, such as rocking chairs for families who spend long days on the unit. The MacDougall’s contribution also supports other families by recognizing the many financial burdens that come with the diagnosis of cancer. These special touches are quite distinct but essential in their own way.

Philanthropy is so much about the human spirit and making a positive impact on our world. It is also about creating a legacy, and preserving the memory of loved ones. Charlie remains close to the hearts of many. And today’s naming of the activity area was a wonderful tribute to Charlie and his family, a celebration of life and an important reminder that Charlie will always be with us at the IWK.


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Happy Birthday Izaak Walton Killam!

Sarah Kasupski is a Campaign Assistant at the IWK Foundation.

When I was getting ready for my first day at the IWK Foundation, my partner asked me: “What does IWK stand for?” At the time I was embarrassed to admit I hadn’t a clue. While these three letters are renowned throughout the Maritimes and beyond, it is perhaps easy for us to forget that they are also the initials of a generous individual with an equally generous wife. At noon this Friday July 22, we will be serving cake and ice cream in the Goldbloom Pavilion in celebration of the 126th birthday of Izaak Walton Killam.

Izaak Walton Killam

Izaak was born into a family of ship-owners and merchants in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on July 23 1885. With limited formal education but great ambition and entrepreneurial drive, Izaak began his career at 18 years of age with a clerkship in the Yarmouth branch of the Union Bank of Halifax. Two years later, he was transferred to the Bank’s head office in Halifax. There, his reputation and head for business captured the interest of Max Aitken, who coaxed Izaak to join the Royal Securities Corporation, a move which laid the foundation for Izaak’s career as one of Canada’s most eminent financiers. In 1914, Izaak became the President of Royal Securities, a position he would retain for 40 years, and four years later took full control of the company. From there, he assembled an investment empire of Canadian and foreign holdings in utilities, pulp and paper, publishing, construction and films. By the time of his sudden death in 1955, Izaak was said to be the wealthiest man in Canada.

Dorothy Killam

Parallel to his incontestable business acumen and financial accomplishments, Izaak also had a generous spirit, giving many anonymous charitable gifts throughout his lifetime. Following his death, his wife Dorothy more than doubled her inheritance and carried out the plans she and Izaak had frequently discussed. Alongside many substantial gifts to the arts, education and sciences, Dorothy left $8 million toward the construction of a new paediatric hospital, dedicated to the memory of her late husband and to be known as the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children. It is this spirit of giving that inspires us to celebrate Izaak’s legacy.

Join us in celebrating the 126th birthday of Izaak Walton Killam on Friday July 22nd at noon in the Gallery of the Richard B. Goldbloom Research and Clinical Care Pavilion at the IWK Health Centre.

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Report to Donors “Behind the Scenes” Pt. 2

Carla Adams is a Manager in Marketing & Communications at the IWK Foundation.

There are moments in my job when I feel like I should be apologizing to IWK staff for calling them up to make a request.  This is especially so when I’m trying to reach front-line caregivers – I figure my little world seems rather trivial to the life-saving work they do every day.

Dr. Karl Logan, IWK

That’s why I was grateful when Dr. Karl Logan returned my email request for an interview and photo shoot right away.  Even nicer was the fact that he replied personally.  Dr. Karl agreed to take part in our Report to Donors by sharing his thoughts about our newly renovated surgical suites, made possible through a generous donation.

On the day of the interview and photo shoot, the photographer and I had to don green scrubs.  I secretly pretended I was in a scene from Greys Anatomy, hanging out in the locker room with all the other residents.  Then we had to “scrub in” before we entered the O.R.  Yes, I find these things thrilling!

As a general rule, I try not to spend much time in any type of operating theatre, so it took a little bit of getting used to just being in the environment.  First, it is extremely clean and tidy.  Everything has a place.   There are also complex-looking machines.  And bright lights.  Impressive, but intimidating nonetheless.

But Dr. Karl was like a kid in a candy store.  He seemed to love showing off his work space, and the many bells and whistles we now have in our state-of-the-art operating suites.  He was genuinely excited, and it was wonderful to witness his enthusiasm.  I’m sure that translates to his work – he’s supposed to be the best at what he does.

To read more about Dr. Karl Logan and the IWK’s Ors visit www.with-you.ca/karl

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Sidney surprises IWK patients

Trena Crewe is a Manager, Stewardship with the IWK Health Centre Foundation.

Rock Band in the Teen Lounge!

Whenever we plan an event for a donor, our first priority is understanding the donor’s wishes. Sidney Crosby had one request – that his visit be about the patients. Sidney wanted to experience what a typical day is like inside the newly renovated teen lounge. No speeches. No fanfare. The new teen lounge was made possible by a generous donation from the Sidney Crosby Foundation.

We told patients about who was coming to visit a few minutes before Sidney arrived. The patients came in shifts and took turns visiting with Sidney. Some of the teens were over the moon to be meeting their hockey hero – others were shy, but after some encouragement were able to chat and hang out with Sidney. And Sidney made it easy.

Sidney Crosby painting with IWK Patients

What impressed me the most was just how comfortable Sidney was with everyone. He played pool, tried his hand at crafts (perhaps not his strong suit!) and jammed out to Rock Band. He laughed with some patients, talked quietly with others and made each and every youth feel special.

And while they took a bit of a back seat during Sidney’s visit, it was truly a family affair. Sidney’s mom, Trina, his dad, Troy and his sister, Taylor, also greeted patients – Taylor had a ball playing pool. Trina and Troy were instrumental in overseeing the teen lounge renovations. They visited the old space, dropped by during renovations and provided input throughout the transformation.

As a parent, I couldn’t help but notice how proud the Crosbys were of their son in this setting. It was very touching.

Sidney Crosby and Olivia, IWK Patient

It’s easy to get caught up in the star power Sidney Crosby brings to the IWK – it’s true that he is an incredible role model for all ages.  His visit meant the world to some very special people.  What is equally important is the difference he has made for our patients, much like the thousands of other contributions that make the IWK a special place. Sidney seemed to recognize that more than anyone.  I think he was very proud of the legacy he’s helped create.

Photos property of the IWK Health Centre Foundation.  Please do not use without permission.

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Report to Donors “Behind the Scenes”

Carla Adams is a Manager of Marketing & Communications at the IWK Foundation.

Our work at the IWK Foundation is always fulfilling, but each year one project rolls around that is particularly rewarding for me. I put together our Report to Donors and in doing so I am fortunate to meet and write about some pretty incredible patients and families.

Jayme, IWK Patient

Jayme was one little girl who really touched me. I had been searching for a story from the IWK’s Mental Health & Addictions area for weeks and, like most years, people were reluctant to share their stories (likely due to continued stigma around mental illness).

So I was a little surprised when Jayme and her mom, Kerri, agreed to talk about Jayme’s eating disorder, which presented itself when Jayme was only 11 years old. What was even more surprising was how the illness began. Jayme began focusing on eating well following a healthy eating presentation at school. The well-intentioned shift to healthy food went too far and Jayme developed Anorexia Nervosa.

I met the mom and daughter duo at the photographer’s studio in Halifax. Jayme was a little shy, but she was also calm, pleasant and confident. Her mom told me how excited Jayme was to be having her very own photo shoot and that her daughter had been “primping” all morning.

We decided to go outside for the photo shoot. Jayme and the photographer, Sue Siri, jetted off down Spring Garden Road while Kerri and I strolled along behind them. It was then I learned more about Jayme’s struggle with Anorexia, and how the whole family was involved in Jayme’s treatment and recovery at the IWK.

It was so much fun seeing Jayme pose for photos on the busy sidewalk. Kerri was beaming too – clearly proud of her daughter.

Jayme deserves a lot of credit – not just for coming forward to tell her story – but for having the courage and maturity to understand her illness and face it head on.

To read Jayme’s story visit www.with-you.ca/jayme.