Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at The Hospital for Sick Children? Most people in Toronto have heard of SickKids but not everyone has experienced the work that takes place inside first-hand.
It’s a full team experience: the front-line health-care workers who specialize in healing and compassion, the gifted minds behind some of the leading-edge science in children’s health and the patients and their families who, while struggling through such a difficult time, manage to stay positive and courageous.
SickKids: Believing in Heroes shares the inspirational stories of five courageous patients and their families as they deal with childhood illness. CFTO and MCTV will air the two-hour special on June 5 at 7 p.m.
Visit SickKidsTV for more information.
Here is one of the stories featured during the program:
Meet Stevie Ray:
Shortly after three-year-old Stevie Ray moved to Bobcaygeon, Ontario, he became increasingly grumpy and moody. His mom Laura thought he needed to adjust to the move but his odd behaviour continued. Soon after, Laura found two growths on Stevie Ray near his groin. She took him to his former paediatrician in Toronto, who sent him to SickKids for blood work.
Specialists at SickKids diagnosed Stevie Ray with cancer, specifically acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). ALL affects the white blood cells that fight bacteria and is the most common type of leukemia in children.
Stevie Ray spent several weeks in SickKids. He underwent chemotherapy treatment, numerous lumbar punctures, blood work and transfusions. Thankfully, Stevie Ray responded positively to the medical care. Over the course of one year, Stevie Ray has been to the haematology/oncology clinic more than 70 times. Today, Stevie Ray is a happy, healthy eight year old.
The annual Toronto Star special section on SickKids hit newsstands this morning! If you haven’t seen it, be sure to pick up a copy.
This year’s section is 24 pages long. It features 17 stories including articles on research, education and patient stories as well as three photo essays.
The articles focus on inspirational patient stories, including Mackenzie Queen, who had a heart transplant and won three medals at last summer’s World Transplant Games in Australia. Dr. John Brumell, a scientist at SickKids, and his wife Stacey Brooks speak of their personal experience with the Hospital when their son needed urgent medical help after his birth last August. Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children, speaks about the importance of the new Research & Learning Tower, which was officially launched this week. Freda Miller, SickKids researcher, poses the question, “Can stem cells repair brains?”
You can find all of these stories and much more online, including videos, at parentcentral.ca.
In addition to the Toronto Star special section on SickKids, two stories will be featured in the Toronto Star later this week. Keep your eyes peeled for a story on PJ Subbarao’s CHILD study in the Asthma and Allergies section and a story on nurse Linda Hughes in the Nursing Week section on Saturday.
If you haven’t been listening to this year’s SickKids Radiothon, here’s one of the stories you’ve missed.
April 1, 2009 is a day the Kirk family will never forget. This is the day their three-year-old daughter Helena was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
ALL is the most common childhood cancer, characterized by the production of a large number of white blood cells. These cells multiply quickly taking over the bone marrow so that healthy blood cells cannot be made. If left untreated, ALL is fatal. Fortunately, Helena has a good prognosis. She was diagnosed early and began her treatment protocol right away.
Helena’s symptoms began with an earache. Her parents took her to see her paediatrician, who is also a doctor in the Emergency Department at The Hospital for Sick Children. The original symptoms suggested that Helena was likely suffering from an ear infection but as a precaution she was sent for additional testing. Her family’s worst fears were confirmed when a phone call came from her doctor indicating that Helena had cancer. She was rushed to the Emergency Department at SickKids and is currently undergoing cancer treatment.
Since the diagnosis, Helena has had to endure a lot of procedures, needles and chemotherapy treatments. Due to chemotherapy, Helena lost most of her dark hair. Her hair is now beginning to grow back blond and she calls it her “princess hair.”
Helena loves the colour purple and adores princesses and fairies. At first, she was scared to come to SickKids because of the treatments she had to undergo but now she has learned to cope and even looks forward to seeing her favourite nurses and clowns at the hospital. Helena is a beautiful little girl who has the ability to capture the hearts of all those who meet her. She appears wise beyond her years and has a spirit that is almost magical.
Helena will continue to undergo treatment for the next two-and-a-half years, which consists of home therapy and lots of treatment and procedures at SickKids.
This year’s SickKids Radiothon is broadcasting live from the Atrium at The Hospital for Sick Children until 6 p.m. today. Tune in to Newstalk 1010, boom 97.3 and 999 Virgin Radio to hear inspirational and compelling stories throughout the day.
We also have photos up on Flickr and a video on YouTube!