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We Have a New Blog!

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Sunshine stories is now part of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation website. All of these stories, as well as new ones, can be found at http://www.bcchf.ca/blog/.

September 13, 2010 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

Geeking-Out Dragon Boat Style

Paddle for Kids takes place Saturday, September 11th in False Creek and, so far, 20 teams have signed up. There are no rules when it comes to how you form your team. Take the H2O Geeks, for example. They formed a team over Twitter. Read on to learn how this group of unlikely “geeks” came together in support of BC kids.

The “Geeks”

H2OGeeks was founded and formed on Twitter, but they’ve grown to become more than just a bunch of social media nerds. What began as a group of strangers has turned into a community of friends, siblings, parents and coworkers. The geeks have opened up membership to anyone who wants to paddle with them.

An interview with co-founder Aidan McGilveray:

“Last year, when the team was first formed, Kimm Mitchell and myself did lots of online promoting through Twitter and Facebook. Kimm is a veteran dragon boater (15+ years and counting) and she heard about Paddle for Kids through the grape vine in the paddling community.

What drew the geeks together and toward Paddle for Kids was the drive to learn something new, meet new friends, and, of course, do good by helping BC’s sick and injured children and their families. What more can you really ask for?

This year the team is looking for a few,new members. Our boat is still not full! We will have a drop in practice session for people interested in joining in the next few weeks. Drop in fees will be donated to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Learn more about the H20Geeks here: http://h2ogeeks.wordpress.com/

You can also follow the team on Twitter here: @h2oGeeks or @paddlinggeek

August 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Michael Bublé: A Class Unto His Own

Michael Bublé wrapped up his sold-out 12-date Canadian concert tour, Crazy Love. His last show was in Vancouver, where he announced to his hometown audience that all profits from the show would go to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Campaign for BC Children. Michael? You’ve left us speechless,

The Campaign for BC Children is a $200-million initiative to support the construction of a new BC Children’s Hospital and to enhance medical services for children throughout the province. And if you were lucky enough to attend the concert, you would have heard Bublé speak to the campaign:

“They are really inspirational people, and the doctors and nurses who care for them are amazing. But, when you’re in the hospital, you can really understand the need for a new building.”

Michael Bublé has been a supporter of BC Children’s Hospital for many years now. He makes frequent, quiet visits to meet with young patients and their families. In 2008 he took on the role of Ambassador to the Campaign for BC Children and performed for over 800 people at the Bublé Gala, which raised over $2.2 million for the campaign. He’s also participated in public service announcements for the hospital and has lent his songs Home and Everything to the campaign. Michael is not only a superhero but a superb example of someone who gives back, even when they’ve reached heights like Michael has in his career.

The Campaign for BC Children is calling on British Columbians to “Be a Superhero” by making a donation to the hospital. Donations can be made online at www.beasuperhero.ca. More information on the campaign and its priorities is available at www.beasuperhero.ca.

August 23, 2010 at 10:00 am 2 comments

When Online Fundraising and Real World Action Meet

Grind For Kids ambassador, Philipp Postrehovsky, is a self-admitted “grind addict.” In case you haven’t heard this term before, a grind addict is someone who can’t get enough of the Grouse Grind — someone who’s always on the look out for that extra drive to reach the top of the mountain, rain or shine.

Inspiration struck Philipp and with it came a new mission for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. We think the Grind for Kids project is a stellar example of when Web 2.0 and real life action meet and drive a movement, both on and offline. And hey, it’s win-win when BC kids benefit, right?

To learn more about Grind For Kids, click here and help spread the summer word! Meantime, enjoy our impromptu chat with our mountain man, Philipp Postrehovsky.

So Philipp, what is the connection between BC Children’s Hospital and the Grouse Grind?

“Last year I did the Grouse Grind 55 times and I thought why isn’t there an event that leverages Grind addicts like me to raise a mountain of money for BC Children’s Hospital?”

Hands down, your favourite online aspect of Grind for Kids?

“You make every Grouse Grind count! Each step you take raises money and gets you closer to the top of the mountain!”

Why is BC Children’s so important to you?

“I don’t have kids yet but I hope to one day. I want my kids and all other kids in BC to have the best care in the world! You never know when you’ll need BCCH but when you do, you know your children will be in the best hands possible.”

What’s your superpower?

“Spreading conversation through the power of social media!”

Have you got a favourite quote or personal motto?

“Yes. It’s by Charles Mingus and it pretty much sums up what drives everything I do in life: “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple,  that’s creative.”

July 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm 1 comment

Banking on a Brighter Future

There are a lot of things we love about the Scotiabank Half Marathon. For starters, Canuck Forward Mason Raymond is the Honorary Chair of the event (this is one charity that’s Canucks crazy year round.)

Mason announced an impressive $524,000 was raised for 29 local charities, which brings us to another favourite fact – BC Children’s Hospital is one of the 29 charities.

On July 21st, Scotiabank will award an additional $5000 to the top three teams who raised the most for charity. It’s not to late to donate to you favourite charity. Donations will be accepted until July 11th, 2010, so feel free to click here and find your friends and family who participated in the run.

Over 5,400 runners participated in the half marathon and five kilmetre races, setting a new record for the run. And, at the end of the day, there’s nothing better than watching people beat their personal best while running for a brighter future in the lives of BC kids. Well done!

For more details and complete race results, click here.

June 28, 2010 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

An Interview with Paige’s Nurse Alan

BACKGROUND: I’ve worked in Oncology at BC Children’s Hospital since the beginning of 1991 – and I’ve been a registered nurse since 1980. (Yes, I’m a dinosaur!) Actually, I’ve worked in the UK, United Arab Emirates and at SickKids in Toronto, but always with children.

TRAINING: I trained in Hull, England, where I was born. I did my general nurse training over three years and followed that with a further year to become a “Registered Sick Children’s Nurse”.

FAMILY/PERSONAL PICTURE: I was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England. I will have been married for 25 years in February 2010 (My wife is either a saint or very foolish.) I have a daughter, Rhiannon, who started University this year. (All donations toward tuition gratefully accepted!) Also, I had a cat, but don’t have any pets now: it got drunk on catnip one Christmas, moved in with the neighbors, and never came back. Go figure.

WHAT YOU’D NEVER KNOW ABOUT ME: I’m really weird. (Oops, everyone knows that!!!!!) And I absolutely hate to dance. It’s not that I can’t dance; I just dislike it. But I like to cook.

WHY I BECAME A NURSE: When my Grandma was very ill, I was really impressed with her homecare nurse. I guess she inspired me to join the club.

IF I DIDN’T HAVE TO BE AT WORK: I’d probably go back to school and do something like fine carpentry. Then, I’d have to quit when I ran out of fingers!

SECRET FANTASY: Have enough money and time to just drop everything and travel wherever and whenever I liked. I’d also like to own an Aston Martin DB9. (I couldn’t afford the car, the insurance or the speeding tickets.)

HOBBIES: Football. (The real one, where you actually kick the ball. Soccer to other folks). I love to ski. I manage not to fall off a wakeboard every summer, and I’m a classic rock junkie.

PHILOSOPHY: The day I come to work and can’t have fun with the kids, it’s time to quit.

December 10, 2009 at 3:01 am Leave a comment

There’s a Heck of a Lot of Medicine in Fun

Robin Williams as Patch Adams

Who can forget Robin Williams’s performance as the brilliant, tender-hearted and wickedly funny Patch Adams in the 1998 movie of the same name? The movie is loosely based on the story of the real Patch Adams, a maverick medical student who reaches out to patients with love and a heaping dose of humour, bringing joy and release to sick people and their caregivers in a US hospital.

A recent picture of the real Patch Adams at work (and play)

Patch Adams is no one-hit wonder. Laughter truly is a medicine of sorts: studies show that humour in hospitals can reduce stress for patients, families and caregivers alike. It eases tension, increases cooperation and distracts patients from painful procedures. Best of all, it’s a real mood and morale booster for everyone. 

The benefits of laughter and goofiness are old news to BC Children’s Hospital, where two beloved clowns, Doc Willikers and Ms. Phizzio Fit – FrizzioTherapist, better known as “Fizzie,” have a long history of tickling patients’ funny bones and chasing away tears. These zany healers are specially trained to work in medical settings, cheering up young patients like Paige with music, magic tricks, crazy costumes, bubbles and face paint.

Interestingly, therapeutic clowns like Doc Willikers and Fizzie are usually professional entertainers, not physicians. Their antics may also help sick children to understand their feelings and come to terms with an illness, as this youtube clip from the tv program Healing Quest suggests.

Doc Willikers & Fizzie

If we’ve piqued your interest in our Hospital’s clown therapy program, we recommend that you take a moment to read Milton Kiang’s article in the Georgia Straight profiling our very own Doc Willikers, or Paul Hooson, as he’s called when he steps out of his oversize shoes. You’ll learn quite a bit about clown therapy, and you’ll find out what keeps this outstanding clown coming back year after year to deliver grins to sick kids like Paige.

December 3, 2009 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

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