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! 

Sincerely,
Debi Gallant
(Tristan’s mom!)


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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.


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Making a change in the world

Shanyn, Maddy, Jessica, and Luna

Shanyn, Maddy, Jessica, and Luna

At the beginning of the school year we got our class outline. On it, our expectations and our teacher’s goal for this semester was for us to do something to change something in the world, whether it was big or small.  A couple of us got together and figured out a great cause we wanted to help.  I loved the idea of the IWK, it was so important in our community and they saved two of our group member’s lives.  Neither of us would have been here if it weren’t for their help!  We had a goal of $500 to raise for them.  We wanted to make sure that the IWK would always be there to help children like us.  In our school, in the community of Liverpool, on October 24th, we had a bake sale. Altogether we raised $125 for that day and scheduled a bottle drive for the 2nd and 3rd of November.  In the freezing cold we managed to raise $380 which was just enough to reach our goal.  We were so glad to be able to give them $505 towards the kids that needed our help.  We drove into the IWK one day and did the cheque presentation.  The girl that assisted us from the start was very helpful, and I am glad that we chose this charity.

We had a great journey with the IWK and loved every step of the way.

Shanyn, Maddy, Jessica, and Luna


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All children have a right to live their lives free of sickness and strife

The Dalhousie Commerce Society (DCS) is proud to host the annual Halifax event for the National Inside Ride Tour. It is a fantastic initiative and it is our pleasure to do all that we can to give back to the community.

The Dalhousie Commerce Society

The Dalhousie Commerce Society

The Inside Ride is a unique initiative not only because the funds raised go specifically to children who are bravely fighting cancer, but it’s a cross-Canada tour as well. Beginning in Newfoundland on a bus that holds over 40 stationary bikes, it travels across the country to Vancouver, stopping at multiple Inside Ride fundraising events in cities and towns along the way.

The DCS supports the IWK Health Centre because we believe all children have a right to live their lives free of sickness and strife. The services provided by the IWK give children the opportunity to receive care as close to home as possible. The Inside Ride raises funds for children who are living with cancer and particular to the Halifax initiative, half the funds raised are donated to the IWK oncology unit and the other to Camp Goodtime – a one-week camp for children fighting cancer where kids experience awesome camp activities canoeing, swimming, arts and crafts and outdoor education!

The Halifax event on October 3rd is the second stop after St. John’s (yes, the bus hops on the Newfoundland ferry!). After two months of fundraising, participants come together and celebrate by taking turns riding the stationary bikes. It is an amazing event filled with contagious enthusiasm and the DCS is happy to host it year after year!

The DCS has raised over $20,000 from the Inside Ride over the past two years and we are excited to add to it this year! We hope to see you there!

To learn more or participate in Halifax’s National Inside Ride, click here.


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Playing games. Healing kids.

Nova Gamer for Left to RIght: Jon, Mark, Dan,  with Dave in the front centre.  Absent from photo: Austin

Nova Gamer from left to rIght: Jon, Mark, Dan, with Dave in the front centre. Absent from photo: Austin

Mark Devitt, co-founder of NovaGamer in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is fundraising for the IWK Foundation by participating in this year’s Children’s Miracle Network event. Extra Life.

My passion is gaming and I’m lucky enough that I am able to work in the industry too. At NovaGamer, my colleagues and I all share the same love for gaming and the gaming industry.  While we are committed to being active members of society, As gamers one of our challenges has been trying to find a way that we could make a significant contribute to our local community through our work. This was a task made very easy for us when we learned about Children’s Miracle Network’s Extra Life event.

Extra Life is a fantastic event that happens on November 2nd, 2013 to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network. Money raised from this event in the Maritimes goes towards the IWK Health Centre– our local children’s hospital. Essentially this event gives gamers, like me, a chance to get out into our community with family and friends to raise money for a fantastic cause. Believe it or not we do this by pledging to play games for 24 hours straight. We not only help support our local pediatric hospital but we are able to do so by participating in something we love. It’s a way to bring gamers together to make a positive change for others.

NovaGamer_500So why has NovaGamer chosen to fundraise for the IWK?  It is simple – because the support, services, and training provided by the IWK are crucial for our community!  Every parent to be, or sick child, that relies on the IWK needs to know that the very best resources are available when needed.  Extra Life is the perfect opportunity for those of us in the gaming industry to raise money and awareness for our local hospital. We want to make sure that the IWK continues to grow and offer services for families in need in the years to come.

Support Nova Gamer as they fundraise for the IWK Health Centre Foundation. To learn more about Extra-Life and other participants supporting the IWK Health Centre Foundation visit www.extra-life.org


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Introducing Kendra and Kinsey!

Hi, I’m Kendra!  Hi, I’m Kinsey!

We’re really excited to be the IWK Superstar Club ambassadors.  We’ve spent a lot of time at the IWK.

Kendra and Kinsey Fader

Kendra and Kinsey Fader

We were born three months early and couldn’t even breathe on our own.  Our mom told us about how the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) doctors and nurses at the IWK worked hard, for almost five months, to get us healthy enough to go home.  After that, we still had lots of doctor’s appointments, lots of surgeries and lots of hospital stays.  Kendra even had to be tube fed 18 hours every day, by a feeding pump she wore in a lady bug backpack, until she was almost four years old!

Today, we’re five years old – almost six!  We just started Grade 1.  We still have lots of regular doctor’s appointments at the IWK, but that’s ok, we don’t mind going there.  We have so many friends there.  Everybody is so nice and they are always happy to see us and tell us how much we’re growing.

Since the IWK has done so much for us and other kids, we like to help them out.  We have been happy to share our story, do our own fundraising, make paintings for donors and even give our own thank you speech to some people that donated money.

By being ongoing monthly donors, our family is also a proud part of the IWK Superstar Club too.  Our mom and dad have told us that by donating money every month and sharing our story, we are helping babies, kids and families who are at the IWK now, get better faster.  The money we give every month helps the hospital buy newer equipment, like ventilators and feeding pumps that are better than the ones we had.  This is our way of helping to make the IWK even better for kids and families in the future.

Will you help us help the IWK by joining the Superstar Club?  We promise you won’t regret it!

Love,
Kendra and Kinsey

Learn more about the IWK Foundation.


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Leaving a Gift for Tomorrow

Mary Theresa Ross is the Manager of  Personal & Planned Gifts with the IWK Health Centre Foundation. If you have any questions, or would like further information on how to make a planned gift to the IWK Foundation, please call Mary Theresa at 902-470-8240.

Mary Theresa Ross, Manager of Personal & Planned Gifts

Mary Theresa Ross, Manager of Personal & Planned Gifts

Each of us possesses the power to provide a lasting legacy to charitable causes we feel are important. A gift in your will not only provides tremendous personal satisfaction , but allows the IWK to plan for future projects with greater certainty and use donations to greater effect.

For me, working at the IWK Foundation is so much more than a career, it is my absolute passion. I believe in the need because I’ve seen it first hand. My daughter, Jody, spent more than four and half years as an inpatient being treated at the Health Centre.

I used to reflect on what it would be like for Maritime Families if the IWK was not here. A gift in a Will helps the Foundation with the security of knowing the funds are in place to allow us to continue to grow and provide care for future generations. It helps ensure the future will be stronger. Your planning is a part of how we help families.

Here is the top 10 things you can do today to leave a gift in your will to your favourite charitable cause.

Sincerely, Mary Theresa Ross, IWK Health Centre Foundation

Top 10 Things You Can Do Today to Leave a Legacy

1.) Prepare a will.

2.) Leave a gift in your will for the not-for-profit organization that makes a difference in your life.

3.) Leave a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your assets to a not-for-profit organization.

4.) Consider using assets for your legacy gift.

5.) Name a not-for-profit as a beneficiary of your RRSP, RRIF or pension plan.

6.) Name your favourite not-for-profit as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy.

7.) Purchase a new life insurance policy naming your favourite not-for-profit as the beneficiary.

8.) Remember loved ones with memorial gifts.

9.) Encourage family and friends to leave gifts to not-for-profit in their wills.

10.) Ask your financial or estate planning advisor to include charitable giving as part of your financial plan and to incorporate in their counsel to other clients.

Make a gift to the IWK Health Centre Foundation. 


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It’s Not Goodbye – A Summer Well Spent!

This summer, the IWK Health Centre Foundation was lucky enough to have Kristin Wilton come on board as an intern for a few months. We are so lucky she came to work with us. We cannot thank Kristin enough for all of her hard work, dedication and incredible positive attitude.  Below is Kristin’s final blog on her time with the IWK Foundation – we’re glad to know she found it to be such a rewarding experience. Thank you for everything, Kristin!

After working with the team at the IWK Foundation over the past 16 weeks, I can honestly say this organization changed me as a whole. It changed my outlook on life and has certainly reassured me of my career choice to become a Public Relations practitioner. Being involved with the public, caregivers, patients, families and events really made me feel like I was doing PR. I’ve learned that a lot of things in the world of PR can be mastered by practice. The three words “practice makes perfect” helped me in so many ways, especially with my writing. The more you write, the more you learn, the better you will get.

My experience here at the Foundation has been incredible. One experience that had a major impact on me happened on my third day of work. My supervisor informed me that I would be attending a big announcement at the Health Centre. I didn’t think much of it until I arrived at the Health Centre and met these two twin little girls – Kendra and Kinsey, who were very premature or “micro-premie” babies born at 27 weeks. A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks so being this early resulted in them spending most of their stay in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) on life support.As I followed a group of people down to a boardroom, hand in hand with Kendra, I sat in and watched the video of their life at the IWK. They were born at 1.8 lbs, each of them had five blood transfusions, one twin had 12 surgeries and the other had 13 and one of the girls had to have an emergency eye surgery. They spent nearly five months at the IWK experiencing liver failure and kidney failure.

As I was watching this video, I’m sitting there saying to myself “Kristin, keep it together. It’s your third day on the job. Do. Not. Cry.” But I couldn’t help it – I was completely filled up. My supervisor reassured me that each and every one of us that work in this organization has a moment like this.

After the video was over, we walked to the Gallery for the announcement – the IWK was receiving a donation of $1 million from Kent and Irving Shipbuilding. This donation will support a state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as ground-breaking research in the treatment of childhood blood disorders and leukemia.

Following the announcement, five-year-old Kendra and Kinsey stood up on the podium and thanked Kent and Irving Shipbuilding for their donation as it will go towards helping children like them.

Today, Kendra and Kinsey are two thriving five-year-olds, and despite continuing health issues and regular visits to the IWK, they will grow up to live normal lives. I don’t think this would be possible without the remarkable caregivers at the IWK who helped this family get through this tough time.

It was the most touching thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. It was events like this over the past 16 weeks that made me confident that the career path I’ve chosen is a perfect fit for me. Thanks to the IWK Foundation, working with this not-for-profit organization has opened my eyes and helped me discover my passion. It proved my passion for working with people, my love for children and my drive to help raise money for children and the world-class specialized care facility we all call the IWK Health Centre. 

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Pregnancy was a very difficult time for me.

Reproductive Mental Health is just one way the IWK Health Centre supports women’s health. This service helps women with mental health concerns while they are under reproductive care—before, during, or following a pregnancy. This past weekend, women showed their support by participating in the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women, and were able to raise a remarkable $12,000 to support the Reproductive Mental Health Services at the IWK. Here is one patient’s story about how the IWK helped her though her difficult time.  

IWK FoundationI was about four months pregnant with our second child when I ended up at the IWK Mental Health Reproductive Center. I was sent to a social worker at the IWK Health Centre, and I credit her for helping me get to where I am today.

My boyfriend and I have had a rocky relationship and one day I showed up for my appointment at the perinatal centre in a crying mess because we had yet another bad fight. I was immediately referred to the Mental Health Reproductive Center because I literally felt out of control – a complete emotional wreck. Pregnancy was a very difficult time for me. I have always struggled with low self-esteem, emotional irregularity, and childhood issues. I have spent over 20 years talking with therapists and realized that my issues ran quite deep. I often felt overwhelmed by my list of issues and what was required to “correct” them. I felt like I was the only mother going through this and while it was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, I felt alone and overwhelmed.

My obstetrician explained that some women experience postpartum depression while other’s can experience it during the pregnancy itself. I was one of the later. I literally would feel hormones surge through my body and I didn’t know what to do. I needed help badly and I wanted to be a positive role model for my children, so I had to address my problems head on and get the help, advice, and support in order to do so.

The Mental Health Reproductive Centre at the IWK provides therapy and support to expectant mothers and will continue to do so up to a year following their child’s birth. I stayed on for two years, because I had a substantial history of a personality disorder with emotional highs and lows. My social worker was determined to see this through for me. She didn’t give up on me when she could have easily sent me on my way. I have the utmost respect for the IWK and their services as they followed through with every single physical and emotional issue that I ever raised to them.

– Tara

Make a gift to the IWK Health Centre Foundation. 


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I wanted to do more.

Andrew Paris, Administrative Assistant at the IWK Health Centre Foundation

Andrew Paris, Administrative Assistant at the IWK Health Centre Foundation

The IWK Health Centre has always been very special me and now I’m  truly blessed to now be working for the IWK Health Centre Foundation. My connection to the Health Centre and IWK Foundation started when I was no taller than the desk I’m at right now.

I’m originally from Summerside, Prince Edward Island and began watching the IWK Telethon when I was three years old with my mother. We always made sure to make a donation every year. As I grew up and began going to school, there was always a kid in the school who, for one reason or another, used the Health Centre. I even grew up with a few people who wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t for that great facility. For this reason and my love for watching the Telethon, I began fundraising for the IWK when I was eight. I, my friends and family would have bake sales, yard sales, bottle drives and all kinds of different things to raise money for the IWK. We all had a great time with every fundraiser that we put on, but I wanted to do more.

When I was eleven, I said that I one day want to answer telephones for the Telethon. Well, in 2004, my dream came true. I got to answer telephones during the first shift on Saturday night. I was in awe! The atmosphere was amazing! I got to meet Steve Murphy and Bill Carr, just to name a few. There was nothing that could wipe that smile off my face! I’ve volunteered at almost every Telethon since. But, after the Telethon 28 in 2012, I wanted to do more.

Soon after that night I sent out a Tweet mentioning how much I enjoyed myself at Telethon and let the Foundation know that if they needed help, I’m available. A few hours later, a Foundation staff member replied asking for my contact information. I knew this was my in! I was so excited that I absolutely inundated her with Tweets and emails about how excited I was to possibly help with Telethon 29. I swear she gave me the Telethon’s chair information just to keep me quiet. Next thing I knew, I was on the Telethon operations committee for Halifax. I was in charge of the hundreds of Telethon phone operators and captains. I was very nervous at first, but Telethon 29 was an enormous success. Everything went great with the phone operators and captains. As the Telethon was wrapping up I realized, I wanted to do more.

A couple of days after Telethon 29, there was a job opening at the Foundation and I said to myself: “The only thing better than working with the operations committee for three months of the year, would be working with the Foundation for 365 days of the year.”

I applied for the job and a nerve-wracking 4 weeks later, I got it! My wife and two kids have had to go to the hospital on multiple occasions. I love the IWK and the Foundation so much! Working here every day is great! I go home every evening with a smile on my face knowing that I did my own little part towards making the IWK Health Centre the best it can be. I’m currently an Administrative Assistant with the Foundation, but who knows, maybe down the road, I’ll get to do more.

Get involved with the IWK Health Centre Foundation.