Spirit of Giving

Leave a comment

You never know what lies ahead for you, your family, or friends.

IWK Health Centre Patient, Ben Harris

Ben Harris

Have you ever wondered what IWK stands for?  Officially “Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre” but to me it means, “Investing in Wonderful Kids”.  It is a truly inspiring place that we, as Maritime parents, treat as an insurance policy – we want to have it if we need it but hope to never have to use it.  At least that was our philosophy until the day we needed it and our appreciation for the IWK became a reality.

That day came for us shortly after Ben’s fourth birthday.  Our healthy active boy came down with a cold.  It was just a cold, not so bad as to require medical attention but enough of a cold to keep him home from daycare.  Then, little purple dots appeared all over his body and this Mommy went into panic mode. We went to see his family doctor immediately.  Those purple dots were petechiaean indication of low platelets which a blood test confirmed. We were admitted to the Prince Country Hospital in Summerside, PEI.

It was here that Ben was given his first round of IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin – a plasma protein replacement therapy that is given to immune deficient patients who have decreased antibody production capabilities) to help boost his platelet count.  During this transfusion he had a reaction and the transfusion had to be stopped.  This was the day our relationship with the IWK began through consultation with our local hospital.  When Ben’s numbers failed to rebound we were sent to the IWK for an appointment with hematology and for bone marrow testing.  Bone marrow results revealed that everything was working fine and because of his history of reacting to the treatment we again decided to give his body time to repair.

As time went on his platelet numbers failed to increase. He underwent another bone marrow test and consult with oncology. The results once again revealed that his bone marrow was working perfectly fine. Next we were sent to immunology.  Here his immunologist, hematologist and oncologist thoroughly tested Ben for every possible cause. All of these tests resulted in a diagnosis – Ben suffers from autoimmune conditions called thrombocytopenia and neutropenia.  Ben has had bone marrow testing, ultrasounds, MRIs, x-rays, blood work, and even dental checks at the IWK to ensure his health is being fully and continuously monitored.

While his team hasn’t been able to isolate the cause of his condition they have safely and confidently found a way to manage his platelet count which allows him to run and play!

So why should we give to the IWK?  The answer is simple; you don’t know when you are going to get a phone call saying that the specialists there want to see you the next morning.  You never know what lies ahead for you, your family or friends.  Having a facility that focuses on children and all their intricacies in our region is worth supporting.

Please consider supporting the upcoming IWK Radiothon on 95.1 FM CFCY presented by Credit Unions and the Co-operators Agents of PEI.

Sincerely, Heather Harris (Ben’s mom)

Learn more about Ben and other PEI IWK patients during the IWK Radiothon on 95.1 FM CFCY, presented by Credit Unions and The Co-operators Agents of PEI – broadcasting live October 30, 2014. Thank you to our generous sponors: 95.1 FM CFCY, Credit Unions, The Co-operators Agents of PEI, Charlottetown Mall, Rodd Hotels, and Global Convention Services.


Leave a comment

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!)

Leave a comment

I’m Tristan Gallant, I’m 10 years old, and I approve of this message.

Moncton Change Bandit, Tristan Gallant

IWK Moncton Change Bandit Hero, Tristan Gallant

Tristan Gallant is this year’s Moncton Change Bandit Hero for the K94-5 & 103.9 MAX FM Cares for Kids IWK Radiothon. For the last few weeks, Tristan has been working hard to help raise $15,000 to support the most urgent priorities of the IWK Health Centre.

I felt very happy when the IWK Foundation asked me to be the IWK Change Bandit Hero this year. It’s really nice [to be selected] and really fun being on the radio. It’s really really fun. Everybody wants to talk to me and take pictures of me.

You can raise money as a change bandit by doing things like a sock hop and a hat day at school; by telling everyone you know how great the IWK is, and by collecting coins at a big store like Superstore. Your parents and friends can put their change all together and put it in your loot bag.

I like the nurses and doctors and Child Life people at the IWK. All the people there like Kate, and Carol, all the doctors and nurses, and all the rest of the people there are really nice to me.

The IWK is important to me because they helped me and a lot of other kids feel better, and they also saved my life when I had Cancer.

People should give money to the Change Bandit program to help IWK buy even better machines and better medicines to help kids feel better. I’m Tristan Gallant, I’m 10 years old, and I approve of this message. 🙂

The 5th Annual K 94-5 & 103.9 MAX FM Cares for Kids IWK Radiothon will be broadcasting live from Champlain Place Mall February 20 & 21 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.. 

Make a gift to the IWK Radiothon.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

Laps for Loonies

Adam Ramsay is an on-air personality for 95.1  FM CFCY, and will be participating along with Q93 personalities in the Laps for Loonies event on April 12 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. at Charlottetown Mall.

Adam Ramsay, 95.1 FM CFCY Radio personality

Adam Ramsay, 95.1 FM CFCY Radio personality

There are so many incredible charitable organizations and wonderful causes in our communities to support today that it’s easy to find disappointment within yourself for not being able to champion them all. But maybe the silver lining comes from the thought that perhaps the groups you do choose to support, and dedicate your time, energy and resources to, are chosen because they best reflect who you are and where you feel the closest connection to through the moments  you’ve experienced.

For me, the IWK Foundation (and the Children’s Hospital it represents) is one of those causes that hits home and inspires me to do what I can to support all those who touch the organization.  Many years ago, my sister was born at the IWK, more than three months premature.  And as I grow more into adulthood I’m seeing friends, co-workers, and more members of my community rely on the services and the special care of the IWK.  It’s hard not to feel close to an organization that has been such an integral part in the lives of the important people around us.

Through the Laps For Loonies fundraising event that we have developed in Charlottetown, I’m hoping to be a part of a day that will look to raise thousands for a cause that is so important to pursue. Through a simple act of walking ‘laps’ inside the largest shopping centre on the Island, we’re hoping to be a part of something much bigger – something that will help families who are not yet even aware they will need the assistance of the IWK, be taken care of when their time of need arrives.

And for me, that’s a cause more than worthy of championing.

Thank you Adam for you support! Don’t forget to tune in to 95.1 FM CFCY on April 25 & 26 as we broadcast live from Charlottetown Mall for the IWK Radiothon – Proudly presented by Investor’s Group. 

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation. 

Leave a comment

The IWK hospital has been there for me and my family

Sheumas Campbell is a radio announcer for 103.9 MAX FM in Moncton, New Brunswick.  This year is his first year helping to host the K94-5 FM & 103.5 Max FM Cares for Kids IWK Radiothon. He took the time to share his personal connection to the IWK Health Centre

Sheumas Campbell, radio announcer for 103.5 Max FM in Moncton, Nova Scotia.

Sheumas Campbell, radio announcer for 103.5 Max FM in Moncton, Nova Scotia.

Just had to chance to share the story of my brother Logan with our listeners:

Logan began visiting the IWK in 1995 to help treat his high-functioning autism.

In 1999, my parents began noticing Logan was tripping a lot and having trouble keeping his feet straight. Doctors then referred us to the IWK hospital.

In 2003, Logan had a 5 day visit at the hospital, where doctors conducted every possible test on him to try and find the problem.

After the final test they conducted (a biopsy on his muscles), Logan was diagnosed with axonal neuropathy, an extremely rare disease where the cells in his muscles are either dead or dying, and will not regenerate.

Logan was followed by the neurology department at the IWK until he turned 19 last year.

The IWK hospital has been there for me and my family a lot over those 12 years, so this Radiothon really hits home for me personally.

Please make a donation and ensure that the IWK can help families like mine; especially with their travelling clinics which we attended regularly where they brought doctors down to our home in Cape Breton to check up on Logan every 6 months.

To make a gif to the K94-5 & 103.5 Max FM Cares for Kids Radiothon Call 1-800-595-2266 or visit www.iwkfoundation.org/monctonradiothon

Leave a comment

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.