Spirit of Giving

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From the bottom of my heart – thank you!

Boy reading a card

Tristan Gallant reads a congratulatory card with his mom, from one of his supporters.

As a Mom, you hope you never in your life hear the words ‘Your child has cancer.’ The reality is, many of us do hear these words at some point in life. And then begins the journey of treatment, sleepless nights worrying about and watching over your child, and hope and prayers. That journey – if you live in the Maritimes – ultimately involves the IWK Health Centre working with your local hospital to deliver the best possible care for your child.

Just three years ago my son, Tristan Gallant, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Today, thanks to the IWK and immeasurable support from family, friends, colleagues, schools, and businesses, locally and across Canada,  Tristan is a happy and healthy ten-year-old boy. When I was asked if he would be this year’s Change Bandit Hero for the 103.9 MAX and K 94-5 FM Cares for Kids IWK Radiothon, I was honoured. Tristan was very excited about his important role, and got busy right away telling all his friends and helping us spread the word about his goal to raise $15,000 to support the most urgent priorities at the IWK.

The Radiothon was held at Champlain Place last week – and when we found out the Change Bandits raised a whopping $24,594.12, we realized more than ever how much this community supports Tristan and the IWK! We extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported Tristan’s Change Bandit efforts, and special thanks to the following:

  • Big sister Jasmine J
  • Moncton Hospital
  • Claude D. Taylor School for sock hop, hat day, and lassoing loot!
  • All schools in Anglophone East School District for a very successful casual day!
  • Riverview Lions Club for lassoing loot!
  • Champlain Place, 103.9 MAX FM and 94-5 FM for supporting and raising IWK awareness
  • Atlantic Superstore and all other local Radiothon sponsors
  • Uncle Wayne Gallant for using his gift of music to raise awareness for the IWK and ‘drum up support’ (literally) for Tristan’s fundraising.
  • Tristan – for being our hero all the time, and for helping so many other children at the IWK through your beautiful personality, bright smile, and remarkable fundraising! We love you Tristan! 

Debi Gallant
(Tristan’s mom!)

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No matter how old you are everyone can make a difference

Ben, Joe and Matt Power are 2014’s IWK Change Bandit Heroes for the 13th Annual IWK Radiothon on C100FM. Over the past few weeks, this dedicated group of boys has been working hard to raise money for the IWK Health Centre.

Joe, Matt and Ben Power

Joe, Matt and Ben Power

The IWK  was where my brothers and I were born and right off  the bat, the IWK was really important to all three of us. We were all born a bit early and had to spend time under lights for jaundice but aside from that, our Mom said she didn’t imagine us ever needing to go back.   We like to play all kinds of different sports:  karate, baseball, basketball and swimming are our favorites, oh and tennis too.  We like to play electronics with each other and with our friends.  We also like music.  Matthew plays the piano, Joe the drums and I play the flute and the saxophone.  We are pretty ordinary kids and we have all been patients at the IWK.  When Matthew was in so much pain that he couldn’t play or anything, the IWK eye clinic, especially Dr. Robataille, was there for him.  He had so many operations and different stuff done to his eye until eventually, they had to give him a new one.  Now he isn’t in pain anymore and he’s actually quite funny.  We never knew that because when his eye was sick he didn’t laugh or play much.  Tarsal coalition stopped me from playing with my friends and playing the sports I love.  Dr. Orlik fixed my foot and I’m going to play Spring basketball and baseball this year.

Being  the Change Bandit Heroes this year and Change Bandits in the future important to us because we are helping the hospital that helped us.  We are saying “Thank you”.  AND we are helping other kids feel better.  This year we collected recyclables to make money for Change Bandits.  Who knew that just one house could have over 40 bottles which makes their donation $4.  Everyone has recyclables, what an easy way to make a big difference.  Our school, Kingswood Elementary also had a popcorn fundraiser.  Everyone who wanted popcorn for recess one day brought $2 and that added up to $1001.65.  We haven’t finished counting yet, but I think we are going to make our goal of $2000.  This goes to show that no matter how old you are everyone can make a difference if they try.

Ben Power, age: almost 11 🙂

The 13th Annual IWK Radiothon on C100FM will broadcast live from the IWK Health Centre Friday, January 31, 2014 from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.. Thank you to our generous sponsors: C100 FM, Atlantic Acura, Sleep Country Canada, Scotiabank, Halifax Shopping Centre, Our Children Magazine.

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The reasons to give are endless.

Today we are broadcasting live from the IWK Health Centre for the 12th Annual IWK Radiothon on C100 FM.

This year, the C100 Radiothon for the IWK will be raising money towards the purchase of ventilators for the Pediatric Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Ventilators are life support machines, or breathing machines, that are used for any patient whose breathing is compromised.

These machines can breath for those critically ill patients that can’t breathe on their own and also support them when they have difficulty breathing.

Tune in to C100 FM between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. to hear some inspirational stories from IWK patients, like Parker Murchison.

To make a gift, please call 1-800-595-2266 or visit http://www.iwkfoundation.org/C100.

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The IWK has become like a second home to our family.

Laura Fader is the mom of two identical twin girls, Kinsey and Kendra, who are patients of the IWK Health Centre , a highly-specialized health care facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

My identical twins, Kinsey and Kendra, are very excited to be the Change Bandit Heroes leading the Halifax IWK Radiothon this year.

Kendra & Kinsey Fader, Change Bandit Heroes.

Kendra & Kinsey Fader with the Sr. Primary Change Bandits at Sacred Heart Academy.

Over the last five years the IWK has become like a second home to our family. Kinsey and Kendra were born 3 months premature. At just 1lb 8oz and 2lbs, they were on ventilators in NICU at the IWK for four long months. The girls suffered from kidney failure, degrees of heart failure, premature lung disease and retinopathy of prematurity. Kendra, underwent heart surgery while still 2lbs and Kinsey, laser eye surgery to narrowly escape blindness. At times, it was uncertain if they would even survive and if they did, the degree of life-long impairments we might be left with.

After the girls were released from NICU, Kendra was home no more than a week before being re-admitted to the IWK for severe GI problems. Over the course of the next three years, Kendra would go on to require numerous inpatient stays and surgeries, feeding tubes in her stomach and intestines and feedings by a pump 19 hours a day. To date, Kendra has had 14 surgeries, the feeding tube removed from her intestines and now eats a normal diet.

Last year, Kinsey was diagnosed with very mild Autism Spectrum Disorder and completed the EIBI treatment program offered by the IWK. She has made huge gains and responded very well to this excellent program. She also visits the ENT clinic every two months for a minor procedure and takes medication to control seizures that were determined to be happening in her sleep.

We are so thankful for all the support and guidance the staff of the IWK has shown us over the years. They have been there every step of the way and have shown us how to be the kind of parents our special kids needed us to be.

Today, Kinsey and Kendra are thriving. They are very happy, active students in Senior Primary at Sacred Heart School Halifax. The school has been very supportive of our girls. They have eagerly embraced the Change Bandits campaign again this year as a means of demonstrating support for the girls and developing social awareness among their students.

Here is Kendra Fader’s story that aired during last year’s IWK Radiothon on C100FM.

Register today to become an IWK Change Bandit in Halifax, Saint John, Moncton or Charlottetown.

Donate to the IWK Radiothon on C100 FM.

Tune in to C100FM on February 1, 2013 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. as we broadcast live from the IWK Health Centre for the 12th Annual IWK Radiothon.

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We’re ready to roll in Saint John

Nancy Wood is an on-air host on K100 FM, an IWK Radiothon Radio Partner.

So tomorrow is the IWK Radiothon we’ve been talking about forever! I like to call it K100’s Radioton, but it’s not just K…Big John AND CFBC are also broadcasting live from McAllister Place on Thursday and Friday. I’ve mentioned on air how much behind the scenes activity happens beforehand. I’ve chatted with several people here in our community that have had to use the IWK, and I understand the above and beyond care that the IWK provides, and how very appreciated it is.

If you’ve missed me talking about this in the past, I myself am a former IWK patient. So no, I’m not just singing the IWK’s praises because I’m in the studio, in front of a microphone and told to say that. I’ve lived it. I often wonder if the staff who work at the IWK realize the level of personal care they provide daily is considered above and beyond, because it seems to come naturally.

Leading up to this Radiothon, I’ve learned even more about how much further that above and beyond care goes. There are so many local families touched by the IWK! I’m not sure how many people realize just how very lucky we are to have a place like the IWK to give that care, and that while families are going through treatment (because care goes beyond the patient alone, it’s about the whole family) how much the IWK does to make it easier on parents and siblings.

There is so much going on with the Radiothon over the next few days, we’ll hear stories from people in our own community who know how the IWK does everything they can to help you not just with care, but with other aspects of your life that are impacted by a child’s stay there.

This is why we’re doing what we’re doing. This is why we’re asking you to come out to McAllister Place at some point tomorrow or Friday and help us help the hospital that has done so much and saved so many children from right here at home.

Of course, our main goal is to raise funds for the IWK, but if the script meeting I was in today is any indication, it’s going to be and intense and fun two days. So make sure you pop out! Can’t wait to see you!

To become an IWK Superstar please call 1-800-595-2266 or sign up online at iwkfoundation.org – thanks for your support!

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Show your support.

Laura Fader is from Halifax, Nova Scotia and the mother of Kendra & Kinsey Fader, IWK Patients.

A little over four years ago, when my husband Shawn and I decided to try for a baby we never dreamed that we would come to develop such a close relationship with the IWK.

Kendra & Kinsey Fader, IWK Change Bandits

Our twins, Kinsey and Kendra Fader, were born 3 months premature.  At just 1lb 8oz and 2lbs, they were on ventilators in NICU at the IWK for four long months.  The girls suffered from kidney failure, degrees of heart failure, premature lung disease and retinopathy of prematurity.  Kendra, underwent heart surgery while still 2lbs and Kinsey, laser eye surgery to narrowly escape blindness.  At times, it was uncertain if they would even survive and if they did, the degree of life-long impairments we might be left with.

After the girls were released from NICU, Kendra was home no more than a week before being re-admitted to the IWK for severe GI problems.  Kendra would go on to require numerous inpatient stays and surgeries, feeding tubes in her stomach and intestines and feedings by a pump 19 hours a day.

Recently, C100 accompanied us as we prepared to send Kendra, off for her 14th surgery.  We were thrilled to share this occasion with C100 and the IWK Radiothon, as this surgery was to remove her jejunostomy, the feeding tube in her intestines.

Sacred Heart Change Bandits!

Kendra has recovered well and was more than happy to return to Jr.Primary at Sacred Heart School with her twin sister Kinsey.  As a family, we were touched that all divisions of the school – co ed elementary, girls and boys high schools, decided to show support for the girls, by coming together to support the C100 IWK Radiothon.   The Jr.Primary Change Bandits have worked hard collecting change this week and we look forward to delivering the money as a group to radiothon on Friday!

The 11th Annual IWK Radiothon on C100 FM will broadcast live from the IWK Health Centre on February 3rd from 6am to 6pm.  To make a gift visit www.iwkfoundation.org/halifaxradiothon.  With you, anything is possible.

To become an IWK Change Bandit in Moncton, Saint John, or PEI visit www.changebandits.kintera.org.

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Some potluck!

Karen Janigan is a senior communications officer for the IWK Foundation


Knight and Tosh from K94-5. Knight's Change Bandit escapades brought in more than $2000


I am green with envy for the IWK Foundation folks who got to hang out with the awesome volunteers, patients and patient families in Moncton, as well as the radio personalities of K94-5 and 103.9 MAX FM for the Radiothon last Thursday and Friday.  As someone manning the home office, I was listening online and cheering everyone on.

It sounded like a big family gathered for a reunion, with everyone bringing their favourite story, instead of dish, to share. The only difference is that few fundraising potlucks raise $91,220.14.

The nice thing too, is that everyone who participates recognizes that the IWK has a Maritime-wide mandate, offering specialized care that cannot be found anywhere else in the Maritimes. The dozen patients and families from the wider Moncton area who told us their stories gives testament to that. Many of these stories are still available through our YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/theiwkfoundation

As this radiothon was a Children’s Miracle Network event, all the money raised will go to areas of greatest need in the Children’s Health Program. The Health Centre determines those needs through consultation with the front-line workers and manager, research into best practices and through special committees.

Specific pieces of equipment that were purchased through the Moncton Radiothon, include:

Ten Smart Pumps, several of which are destined for the Pediatric Medical Unit, were purchased at $4,000 each. These pumps provide the extra safety for small patients who need precise doses of powerful medicines at the right times. To learn more about Smart Pumps, you can watch The Case of the Donated Money: PICU on our Youtube Channel.

A Blanket Warmer was purchased for the Hematology, Oncology, and Nephrology Unit at $6,800. Warm blankets help ill patients regulate their body temperature, helping them avoid going into shock and better tolerate treatments.

A special Stryker Cub Crib at $6,500 was purchased as part of a plan to replace the old cribs. The new crib provides easier access to the patient for procedures, instant access in case of a need to resuscitate a young patients, and improved safety features and maneuverability.

Additionally, donors also responded to calls to buy a BiliBlanket at $6,500. Some newborns are jaundiced when they are born, because of too much of a blood pigment called bilirubin. This condition can cause complications, including brain damage and death. Biliblankets allow babies to stay with their moms and receive treatment, instead of being separated from the mother and placed in a box with special lights. Skin-to-skin contact and closeness with a parent is linked to better outcome for premature and ill babies.

I can only say: Greater Moncton: that was some great potluck!