Spirit of Giving

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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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Change Makers – Sonja

This article is a series of three, written by Tom Mason for the Fall 2013/Winter 2014 issue of Izaak Magazine – an in-depth, behind the scenes, all-access publication highlighting the incredible, everyday happenings at the IWK Health Centre. A stay at the hospital can be tough, but for some exceptional young people, it’s also a time to grow , gain strength and learn about who they are. 

Sonja Weilgart-Whitehead

Sonja Weilgart-Whitehead

At the age of 18, Sonja Weilgart-Whitehead is already an old hand at talking to the media. The Herring Cove teenager was just 15 when she spearheaded a media campaign that focused attention on evacuation policies at Halifax Schools – a campaign that changed those policies for students with mobility issues.

Sonja has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that comes with significant mobility challenges. “My high school had an evacuation policy that said they couldn’t carry disabled persons out of the building because it would risk injuring the person responsible for carrying the,” she says. “Instead, we were supposed to go to a designated safe area and wait for the fire department.” But the designated safe room in Sonja’s high school was located right above a propane tank, with furniture blocking the only window that rescue personnel could use to access it. “I know that if my school ever wet up in flames, I was going to be toast.”

I was a situation that Sonja had no intention of ignoring. She and her mother contacted the media and began a series of interviews to shed light on the topic. The campaign immediately caught the attention of Nova Scotia cabinet ministers Ramona Jennex and Marilyn Moore who offered her an apology and set out to change the school policy. “They changed it for everyone in the province,” she says. “It means a lot, even though I was almost ready to graduate. With the old policy, it was like they were saying my life wasn’t as valued as the other students.”

Sonja is used to overcoming challenges. Her first extended stay at the IWK began the day she was born, when she was 18 months old. She’s made many trips to the hospital since then. “Over the last six years I’ve been getting a lot better because of a phenomenal surgery that the IWK gave me. Now I can walk without tangling by feet, without being crumpled over. I can swim a lot better too. It’s forever changed by life.”

Today, Sonja is studying for her Bachelor of Arts (honours) degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, and received the Robbie and Jean Shaw Scholarship. She plans to go on to become a lawyer advocating for people with disabilities. She chose the university because of its unique program for physically challenged students – a program that includes 24/7 attendant services and full wheelchair accessibility. She is also nationally-classified para-swimmer on the Carleton varsity swim team and involved in horseback riding, sailing, skiing and rock climbing.

This story and many exciting others are available for FREE though Izaak Magazine’s fully interactive mobile app, available for download on the iTunes Newstand and Google play. You can also read Izaak magazine online through your desktop computer.

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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

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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!


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Good Morning Moncton

Michelle White & Kelly Duggan are communications officers with the IWK Foundation.

We are now broadcasting live from Champlain Place for the 2011 IWK Radiothon on K94-5 FM and 103.9 MAX FM. The energy is already picking up as more people roll in the door! Here is your Insider Report on the hip and happening things that will take place today!

The first donation coming through the door was $2,000. Thank you so much for starting us off on the right foot.

The first power hour as 7 a.m. for a Smart Pump for Pediatric Medical Unit, which costs $4,000, needed 22 Superstars! And we managed to purchase the Smart Pump in an hour! We decided to go for a second one.

At 3:00 p.m. the Power Hour will be for a Blanket Warmer for 6-Link, which costs $5,900, so we need 33 Superstars!

There will be a lot of patient families stopping by to lend their support. A few notable mentions are Benjamin and Lily Allen, Alexe Levesque, and Erin Dumville!

Each station has a super line-up of hosts who will be lending their voices to help tell the stories of the IWK.

K94-5 FM: Knight and Tosh started off our day at 5:30 p.m., then Krysta J takes us through the afternoon, with Kevin wrapping us up at 8:00 p.m.!

103.9 MAX FM: Alyssa and Kurt started rallying the troops at 5:30 a.m., then Matt Rideout will march us on at Midday, where Jody will pick up and take us on until 8:00 p.m.!

We have staff on hand welcoming the Change Bandits who have been rustling up the spare change for a goal of raising $12,000.

Here are the many ways you can stay connected to the Moncton Radiothon:

You can also donate by going to iwkfoundation.org/monctonradiothon or by calling 1-800-565-2266

Tonight, CTV Atlantic Live at Five will run a piece about our Change Bandit Hero Ella Tucker, who has raised more than $600 with her school – Salem Elementary in Sackville, and Nathan Knight who promises to sit in a different seat in the Moncton Coliseum for each dollar donation he receives for Change bandits.

Thank you, Moncton, we love your energy!