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Donor Stories

Donor of the Week Spotlight

For the week of May 18, 2015


Thanks to a generous donation from LASIK MD, the Division of Ophthalmology at SickKids is now able to offer laser refractive surgery to children for the first time in its history. The laser surgery will benefit children with behavioural problems such as autism who go blind needlessly because they refuse to wear glasses. It is truly a gift of sight—these children can now see clearly again to grow, learn, and play. Thank you LASIK MD for your commitment to SickKids.

Donor Stories

Family and friends of Dr. Ken Citron honour his life and work at SickKids

Dr. Ken Citron

By every account, Dr. Ken Citron was a wonderful psychiatrist, father, husband, son, brother, friend and colleague. Renowned for his work with adult patients with HIV and AIDS, women with postpartum depression, and SickKids patients contending with the tremendous emotional challenges of organ transplantation, Ken was respected and loved by all who were fortunate enough to know him. Ken passed away from a brain tumour in 2004, but his memory lives on through his family's efforts to continue his work improving quality of life for children facing serious illness.

For the past decade, Ken’s younger brother, Jeff, has worked tirelessly to honour Ken’s memory and work by fundraising for projects that continue to improve well-being for paediatric transplant patients. Thanks to the generosity of the Citrons’ network of family and friends, scores of children recovering from major organ transplants and living with end-stage organ disease have been sent to summer camp, academic lectures associated with the psycho-social aspects of transplantation have taken place, and most recently, a full-time art therapist was hired to provide SickKids inpatients with an innovative way to process their complex emotions.

Research findings demonstrate the positive impact of creative arts therapies on health outcomes for children and their families. These practices reduce anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness; improve self-esteem as well as cognitive and emotional development; lower levels of stress and promote immune response; reduce pain and enhance coping mechanisms; provide support during the grieving processes; and enable memory-building.

In tribute to Ken’s commitment to improving the emotional health of gravely ill children, the Dr. Ken Citron Art Therapist will assume full time responsibilities in April 2015. The position, which fits within an interprofessional health team, was made possible through lead gifts from the Dr. Ken Citron Charitable Trust and the Rotman Family Foundation. Janis Rotman, a close friend to the Citron family, was instrumental in supporting the project.

The Dr. Ken Citron Art Therapist is a testament not only to SickKids’ dedication to improving child health and well-being, but also to our community’s compassion and support for the legions of health professionals who devote their lives to extraordinary patient care. “Our family and friends will always be grateful for how thoughtfully the SickKids family treated Ken throughout his own illness,” says Jeff. “We are very pleased to support an area he cared about so deeply.”

Meet some of our other SickKids donors.