Every year, children from all over the world come to SickKids to receive life-saving care. The experience can be daunting for many of these families. Some have never left their countries before while others have never been on a plane. The climate in Canada is different, some don’t know how to speak English and they have no family or friends to support them.
That’s where the Herbie Fund comes in.
Established in 1979, the Herbie Fund helps children from around the world receive life-altering and life-saving surgeries at SickKids that would otherwise not be available to them in their home countries. The Fund also finds them a place to stay during their visit. Since its inception, the Herbie Fund has brought in 656 children from 101 countries to SickKids.
This Friday, May 27, is Herbie Day. Tune into Citytv from 7 – 9 a.m. and again during the six o’clock news to hear the incredible stories of Herbie patients and the SickKids staff who cared for them as they are interviewed by Gord Martineau. The day will be filled with a delicious lunch BBQ and live entertainment on the front lawn and a Kids Fun Zone inside the hospital. The Kids Fun Zone runs from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and the BBQ from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The day is about fun, but also about fundraising as we raise awareness for the Herbie Fund.
One of the stories you will hear is about Mary-Joanne and Mary-Janice, twin girls from the Philippines who both had a cardiac condition called Wolfe-Parkinson-White Syndrome. They were treated at SickKids by cardiologist Dr. Robert Hamilton. After successfully completing their treatments, they were back home in the Philippines approximately one month after their arrival in Toronto.
We have many more stories to share. Visit the Citytv website for more stories on the international patients at SickKids and don’t forget to tune in this Friday and support the Herbie Fund.
His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and his wife, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, paid a special visit to SickKids last night to celebrate the dedication and generosity of our donors at our annual celebration event, Donor Hall.
The Governor General was at SickKids to recognize excellence in philanthropy and volunteerism, pillars of his mandate as Governor General. His visit began with a hard hat tour of the SickKids Research & Learning Tower, currently under construction. He then proceeded to the Reading Room at SickKids for story time with patients. Though his accomplishments include being a former hockey star at Harvard University and President of the University of Waterloo for 11 years, the Governor General referred to himself simply as “Grandpa Book” – a nickname his eight grandchildren coined for him in reference to his love of reading.
In front of a crowd of about 300 donors, His Excellence went on to recognize their commitment to the Tower and thanked them for their contributions to the future of children’s health care. “This new addition will increase the Hospital’s ability to heal, conduct the necessary preventative research that is so vital to the health of our children, and teach a new generation of medical professionals. When you look around at this facility, at these children, you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that your generosity has made this possible, that you have made a difference.”
Read his entire speech here.
Two days after Sierra was born, she was brought to SickKids. What initially appeared to be a small complication turned out to be something much more devastating: Sierra was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF), a chronic genetic condition that affects the respiratory and digestive systems, making it difficult to breathe.
It was a diagnosis Sierra wasn’t going to let define her.
Now five-years-old, Sierra is just as playful and active as any other child her age. Looking at this energetic girl, you’d never imagine the many struggles she has to endure. Sierra, however, takes them in stride, incorporating her breathing exercises and nutritional needs into her daily routine. To her, CF is just another one of life’s obstacles to overcome.
Sierra, as the face of the new SickKids Lottery, is a testament to everything that can be accomplished with hope. It is a hope that you can be a part of with the purchase of SickKids Lottery tickets.
By purchasing your tickets for the SickKids Lottery, you are helping to support research like the kind that will one day make CF a manageable disease instead of a fatal one. By supporting SickKids, you make a life-changing impact, not only for Sierra but for all the patients at SickKids who hope for a healthier future. With your generous support, we can achieve our vision: Healthier Children. A Better World.
To learn more about the SickKids Lottery, please visit the website. You can also watch Sierra’s story below:
If you have trouble viewing this video, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFUIdt53cvE&feature=channel_videotitle
*See rules and regulations at www.sickkidslottery.ca. LL #3796.