Tag Archives: McMaster Children’s Hospital

Giving Tuesday

27 Nov

Giving Tuesday is a movement that was created in 2012, and has become an international day of giving. It follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two very busy shopping days in North America.

I want to share with you a few of the organizations that are near and dear to our hearts.

During the summer of 2017, when Ladybug was in the hospital for back to back surgeries, and a lengthy stay, I had an aha moment. Sounds cliche I know.  I’ve written many times about the special needs community and how they are amazing for rallying around each other at times of need.  This was very evident that summer. Families that Ladybug took dance with a couple years prior, came to visit several times always bringing snacks, and a complete stranger drove from over an hour away to drop off a weighted blanket to help Ladybug sleep. I could go on and on with the amount of people, not just in the SN community, who were there for Ladybug and myself when we needed it the most.

I felt very fortunate to be a part of a group like this, and knew I wanted to pay it forward. During that summer I saw a Facebook post from a girl, Nikki, who I used to work with. She had moved to India several years prior to volunteer with Sarah’s Covenant Homes. SCH is a group of family like foster homes for children in India who have special needs. These children are in need of sponsors for things like food, clothing, schooling, medical equipment, surgeries etc. The things that many often take for granted.

I felt drawn to help out, even if it was only a little bit every month. That was still a little more that SCH didn’t have. It became a family event, as I would sit down with my own children and talk about SCH, India, and the first little girl we sponsored. My boys would often take the globe out, point to where India was, and were always excited when we’d get an update or photo of our new friend.


It was an incredible teaching/learning opportunity for myself and my children. It also inspired us to help children from another organization. We became Birthday Box sponsors for a little girl in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.  The cost of typical birthday party supplies in the far north is insanely high, that is if they are available. This was our second year putting together a box filled with cake mix, icing, candles, party decorations, some treats, and a few gifts. The kids are a part of the entire process, from picking out the items all the way to going to the post office to ship them.

My children are learning what it means to be kind, generous, and give every day – not just one Tuesday a year. This is the best gift I could ever give them.

Here are a couple other organizations that are also very close to our hearts:

McMaster Children’s Hospital – Ladybugs home away from home.

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute – The incredible lab that offered to find out Ladybugs CDG subtype for us, when Health Canada refused. They continue to be an integral part of our journey, and I’m hopeful they will find a treatment and perhaps one day a cure for CDG.


Miracle Treat Day!

8 Aug


On Thursday August 8th, 2013, all proceeds from every Blizzard®Treat purchased at participating DQ® stores will be donated to your local Children’s Miracle Network® member hospital.

For us that hospital is Mac Kids.  I will never forget our first DQ Miracle Treat Day experience – it was during one of Ladybugs longest hospital stays and I was overwhelmed with uncertainty and beyond exhausted. One of the nurses came up to me and said “Happy Miracle Treat Day!” To which I replied thanks. Not having any clue what she was talking about. She then told me that the local Dairy Queen had brought in Blizzard®Treats for all the children and parents who were staying in the hospital. Let me tell you there is nothing like ice cream and sugar to boost ones morale. It was by far the best Blizzard®Treat I have ever had. I’m looking forward to heading out this evening to enjoy my Blizzard®Treat in support of the Children’s Miracle Network and Mac Kids.

Since 1984 DQ Canada has raised over $20 million in support of Children’s Miracle Network. Let’s make 2013 a record-breaking year! Join DQ and help make miracles happen.

Swing Fore Dreams

21 Jul

Although my golf experience doesn’t exceed a couple of company tournaments and mini-putt, I was truly honoured to have been asked to be a part of the 3rd Annual Swing Fore Dreams Charity Golf Tournament which was held on July 17, 2011. The proceeds from this tournament will directly benefit McMaster Children’s Hospital.

The tournament was held at the Carlisle Golf and Country Club. We opted to pass on the golfing as it was far too hot for ladybug – who might I add rocked her pretty pink party dress and shades, and instead joined for the dinner and awards afterwards. Small side note the dinner was fabulous!

As soon as I walked into the dining area with ladybug in tow we were immediately welcomed by the 3 amazing guys who put the entire golf tournament together for the 3rd year – Ryan DeCaire, Patrick Brennan and Christopher Ferguson. I don’t think I have ever come across a more caring, generous and empathetic group of young men in my entire life. This feeling was certainly shared with so many that attended the tournament including the local MPP Ted McMeekin who spoke many words of praise.

Ladybug was able to make it through the dinner portion with a little help from Dr. Kozenko her metabolic geneticist. Who graciously volunteered to swing ladybug in her car seat as she began to fuss so we could finish our dinner. Dr. Kozenko had agreed to join us and put on a small presentation about ladybug and The McMaster Children’s Hospital.

As I mentioned before ladybug’s bedtime routine has been going quite well – even if she doesn’t fall asleep right away she is beyond happy to be in her crib by 7pm.  Alas our evenings out beyond 7pm with the wee one will now be a distant memory, but so worth it to finally have an hour or two in the evening to exhale.

All in all it was a fabulous night and I am so thankful for all the participants who truly wanted to be there and help raise money for McMaster Children’s Hospital. Not to mention the amazing outreach from local business’ for sponsoring holes and their generous donations which included and iPad. Sadly, we did not win this – it would have been for ladybug to use strictly as a communication and educational device of course. Congratulations goes out to our MPP Ted McMeekin who did however win it.

Most importantly I want to thank Ryan, Patrick, and Christopher, I can’t possibly express the impact this entire event has had on me. Because of the three of you our daughter and so many other children will be able to receive top-notch medical care in an up to date facility. You are all incredible and it has been an honour to be a part of the 3rd Swing Fore Dreams Charity Golf Tournament.  I can’t wait for the 4th!


(More pictures coming soon!)


8 Feb

With my most recent post being about a horrible experience we had with a doctor – I thought it was only fitting to brighten things up and write about an amazing doctor and person.

When ladybug was first admitted to the hospital this past summer, the ER doctor was kind, very thorough and was open to talking about the tests he wanted to run and the results as soon as they came in.  Little did I  know that this doctor would be  looking after my princess during the first couple weeks of her stay at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

Like I mentioned in Watching and Waiting everything started with ladybug having a very fast and irregular heartbeat, and the thought was that it was caused by an infection of some sort.  Then fast forward a bit and the GI bleed began.

Throughout these couple of weeks one thing remained constant and continuously gave me peace of mind; it was a doctor, the same doctor who had admitted my daughter when we were first seen in the ER.

He was always checking in on us even if he wasn’t on rounds, he pushed to have tests done that other doctors didn’t really see a need for, but quite possibly saved my daughter’s life. I often gave a little sigh of relief when I would see him walking down the hall first thing in the morning, because I knew my ladybug would be in the best hands.  One thing really stood out, and that was every morning the first words out of his mouth were always “how are you?”, it may seem like a common question but rarely got asked by the doctors during our stay. Those three words helped me feel at ease with everything else that was going on. He never seemed like he was in a rush when talking to me, always took the time to see how I was, and as soon as any x-ray or ultrasound result came back he would take me over to the computer and show me the results whether they were normal or not.

His name is Dr. Brian Levy.

I held and hold him in such a high reverence that I cried when I found out he was moving on to Labour and Delivery.  Here I was  holding everything together and keeping strong for my baby up until that point, and now crying over a doctor leaving? Maybe it was that last little straw that caused all the marbles to fly everywhere, maybe it was exhaustion, hormones, or maybe just maybe I had become so accustomed to having a caring doctor I really was upset that he was leaving us.  I even asked if he would be willing to switch from being an ER doc to being a pediatrician, sadly for us it was not his calling.

When Dr. Levy or Dr. Brian as our fav nurse and I use to call him moved on to L&D he still popped in a couple of times to see how we were, then we never saw him again.

I always wondered if he had moved on to another hospital, and if maybe one day I’d run into him on one of our regular hospital visits. All the while knowing that I wanted to somehow let him know what an incredible doctor he is.

What better way than to write this post to honor him.  The hardest part was trying to come up with a title. I decided on the word Mensch.  Mensch comes from the Yiddish and literally means “man.”  The real meaning is deeper, because, to be a Mensch means to be a “Good Man.”  The Oxford English Dictionary has an excellent definition:
In Jewish usage: a person of integrity or rectitude; a person who is morally just, honest, or honourable.  [OED]

I couldn’t think of a better title for a post about a man who to us represents what every doctor should be.  A person of integrity, honest, and honourable.

Thank you so much, Dr. Levy.