Youngsters make holiday donations to support patients

News / Pediatric Care
By John Pereira/Meaghan Quinn

During the holiday season, there’s often something special in the air. It’s the time of year when people take stock of their lives and give back to others in need.

What is making this holiday season extra special is the support KHSC is receiving from youngsters in our community who are making donations to support other children who are in hospital.

KHSC has seen several examples of this generosity lately, as kids in Kingston and the surrounding area are making sure our youngest patients have a reason to smile this holiday season.

Sweet treats support pediatric oncology

As a pediatric oncology patient, Carly knows first-hand the impact that giving back can have. Two years ago when she first learned that she had leukemia, her treatments kept her in the hospital for several months. Travelling between the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario located at our Kingston General Hospital site and Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, she missed home, family and her regular activities.

When she was finally well enough to return home, she walked through her front door to discover a present waiting for her from the Shine Through the Rain Foundation. Inside the present were activity books and crafts to help keep her busy as she continued through her treatment.

“Receiving those gifts made me feel normal again and helped me feel like I could tackle anything,” says Carly.

When she asked her Mom how these gifts were made possible, she learned that it was because people had donated money to the organization, which helped them purchase the gifts for Carly.

This sparked a desire in Carly to do the same for other kids and families who were going through a situation like her own.

 “I decided that I wanted to give back and make something good come out of a horrible situation,” says Carly.

With the help of her family, Carly began making and selling suckers with the words “Cancer Sucks” on them. Through craft sales, grocery store visits and community support, this year Carly was able to raise over $3,500 that will be going to support the Children’s Cancer Fund for the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario.

During their time at the Cancer Centre, Carly and her family have gotten to know many of the other children, families and care team members who work here. Selling suckers has helped Carly and her family say ‘Thank You’ and make a positive impact for the people they have met throughout her journey.

“I hope through this work that I will be able to make a lot of the other kids here feel better, I just want good things for them,” says Carly.

Mason and Paramedics come bearing gifts for inpatient pediatrics

Just in time for the holidays, Mason Ferguson got to make a very special delivery to the inpatient pediatric unit located at KHSC’s Kingston General Hospital site.

Five years ago Mason and his grandmother were involved in a car accident. Mason was treated on the scene by Frontenac paramedic Dan O'Grady and his partner.

While assessing and consoling Mason on the scene of the accident, paramedic Dan gave Mason a bear. Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) carries bears in all of their ambulances for exactly this purpose.

For the past five years, Mason has kept his bear "Dan" by his side. A couple of months ago, Mason's mother Tracey Ferguson contacted FPS as he wanted to use his birthday money to buy more bears for other children like him.

This week, Mason visited the Pediatric Unit at our KGH site to make his donation and tour the unit. The bears will be handed out to children who are in the unit over the holidays.

Basketball for a good cause

On December 21, Holy Cross Secondary School and La Salle Secondary met on the hardwood as part of a special basketball game to raise funds for charity. Family, friends and students each paid $3 for to watch the game and the event raised a total of $860.

Players from Holy Cross decided to use their portion of the funds to purchase toys for children who are in the hospital over the holidays. On December 22 they visited our Inpatient Pediatric Unit to make their donation to KHSC staff and physicians.

The toys will be handed out to our young patients after they fall asleep on Christmas Eve, so they have a special present to wake up to on Christmas morning.

“We’d like to thank everyone in the community for their ongoing generosity throughout the year,” says Manager of Pediatrics Kerri-Lee Bisonette. “Donations like these help make the holiday season a little more special for patients and families who are spending their time in the hospital.”

If you are interested in supporting Kingston Health Sciences Centre, or our Pediatrics Department this holiday season, visit the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation’s website to learn how to make a gift to support patient care at KHSC.