Kitchener Rangers Help Local Children Pay It Forward

Kitchener Rangers Help Local Children Pay It Forward

There’s this boy who lights up the room when he walks in. He loves his dog and sees the good in everyone. He basks in the sun, but his fear of bees sends him running to the house. When he laughs, you laugh with him - because his sparkle is contagious.

His name is Noah. He was born into a loving family; his parents eagerly anticipated his birth. He is not unlike most children in our Region.  

Except he is.

This handsome, curious, polite boy lost his battle with cancer in 2012 - on Canada Day.

While our city eagerly anticipated parades and fireworks, his family prepared their child for a journey they couldn’t attend.

One in five Canadian children with cancer will not survive, making cancer the number one disease killing children today.

We don't like these types of stories, we want to ignore them. As parents, we tell ourselves that by wearing blinders, we are protecting our family.

As a result, childhood cancer is consistently underfunded. It is estimated that only five percent of all cancer research funding in Canada is allocated to children.

These families have been to hell and back. They could have used this pain as ammunition to fuel resentment. Instead, they formed a committee to give back to the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario.

POGO offers support to pediatric cancer care professionals. They provide satellite clinics for families - in an effort to keep these children in their own beds - as well as offering support for survivors.

Treatments require a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week commitment, with dedicated and specialized care. It can last up to three years or longer, and relapses are common. Parents are forced to walk away from their jobs, to be with their child, losing up to half of their household income.

Survival comes with a hefty fee, but as parents, we know there is no price too steep for the longevity of our child.

As a paediatrician, at Grand River Hospital, Dr Jodi Rosner cares deeply for the faces of these statistics. She has also witnessed the benefits of POGOs satellite clinic at GRH.

In an effort to support the children she has taken under her protective wing, she created the KW Run for Kids with Cancer. “This race was inspired by the children who I have met who have fought and lost their battle with cancer. It is so humbling to be with these children, they make me laugh, they make me cry and they make me want to be a better a person. These children are our future and this is my way to pay it forward and give to these great kids.”

Imagine a world without doctors who care this deeply, patients who feel compelled to show gratitude, and organizations that actively support emotional, physical and monetary burdens.

On September 9 a community of influencers, young warriors, and the loved ones who will do anything for them are attending Dr Jodi’s KW Run for Kids with Cancer. For Gage, Sara Jean, Kyla, Desi, Christopher, Jonathan and for Noah - the boy I once knew, who was terrified of bees but bravely faced childhood cancer.  All proceeds will go to POGO.

Race Date:

Sunday, September 9, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

Location:

Waterloo Region Museum
10 Huron Rd
Kitchener, ON

No animals are allowed, other than service animals

Event details: www.kwrunforpogo.com

Pediatric Oncology Group on Ontario

Founded in 1983 by a group of pediatric oncologists to champion childhood cancer care and control, POGO works to ensure that all of Ontario’s children have equal access to state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment and required services. The organization is a collaboration of the five academic teaching hospitals with pediatric oncology programs, including SickKids. POGO serves Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as a key source of advice on pediatric oncology services.

Natasha McKenty is a freelance Public Relations Consultant, host of In Studio; airing on Rogers TV, and mother of three. She has a passion for telling stories that matter. Get in touch at www.natashamckenty.com

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