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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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.