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Make the Holidays Special for Sick Children

The holidays are the time of year when people are thankful for what they have, and wanting to give back to their communities.  Of course, one foundation that I fully support and stand behind is The Hospital For Sick Children, and with the holidays approaching, their #GetBetterGifts program.

When children are too ill to go home for Christmas, and stay in hospital over the holidays, it’s a difficult time for them and their families.  Almost 300 children have to stay at SickKids over the holidays.

Bringing the holidays to kids at SickKids

I recently visited the Hospital and met Sitar, who talked about her son Hunter’s long visit at SickKids. One Christmas, Sitar brought “Christmas in a bag” to the hospital, including a mini Christmas tree. But the family didn’t participate in their normal Christmas-related activities, such as baking cookies or making crafts.

“As a parent you get wrapped up in what’s going on with child’s illness but child is still a child and needs a childhood,” she said.

SickKids goes above and beyond to make kids feel normal especially at Christmas time and to help families get into the holiday spirit. The hospital and staff help bring the holidays into the hospital with various activities, such as baking and ornament decorating.

Get Better Gifts

But the hospital can’t do it without our help and generosity. The Get Better Gifts program offers gifts that help children miss home a little less during the holidays. You can truly brighten the lives of the children and families with one of their many gift options.

Many items in hospital can’t be shared due to risk of contamination, so many children must have their own items, such as art supplies, crayons, and video game controllers. Gifts vary from crib mobiles for little ones, to games for all ages, to movie nights for teenagers.

Make the Holidays Special for Sick Children

Arts & Crafts Supplies

Holiday Cooking and Baking Supplies

Make the Holidays Special for Sick Children Baking Supplies

Make twice the difference.

This year specific Get Better Gifts will make twice the impact thanks to Orinoco Foundation, who will generously match your gift. Look for the matching gift tag throughout the website.

Order Deadlines

Order your gifts by December 2nd to have your card sent to any Canadian address by December 24th.

But if you need a last minute gift, PDFs and e-cards are always available. Get all the details and browse the full catalogue of gifts online at GetBetterGifts.com

With Get Better Gifts, not only are you giving a heartfelt gift to someone special, you’re also helping almost 300 children who have to stay at SickKids over the holidays, miss home a little less!

May is National Food Allergy Awareness Month

May is National Food Allergy Awareness Month. For approximately 300,000 Canadian children and their families, or one child in every classroom, constant anxiety and stress over the possibility of a deadly allergic reaction is a reality of everyday life.

The most common allergens causing anaphylaxis are nuts, eggs, milk, and insects. The prevalence of allergy is on the rise, with an approximate 18 per cent increase in severe allergic reactions over the past 15 years. Researchers don’t currently know why.

“Navigating the world of allergies can be a daunting and overwhelming task, especially for parents with children affected. There is an increasing realization and appreciation that food allergies do not only affect the child diagnosed, but also their family, friends, classroom, and community,” says Dr. Eyal Grunebaum, Head, Immunology & Allergy.

“Now more than ever before, researchers are poised for major breakthroughs in allergy research that will transform children’s health. In fact, we believe that we can cure allergy in the next decade.”

 

SickKids believes we can cure allergy in the next decade. Now, more than ever before, researchers are poised on the cusp of major breakthroughs in allergy research and have the tools at their disposal to develop a cure for allergy. Within the next decade, the Allergy Program at SickKids will drive transformation in children’s health to eliminate the health challenges and emotional burden posed by the threat of allergic reaction.

SickKids is doing the following:

  • Exploring ways to turn anaphylaxis into a non-fatal reaction via oral treatment (i.e. pill)
  • Looking at a type of immune cell that can control allergic responses
  • Investigating the ability to predict which children will be able to tolerate allergenic food if it is prepared differently
  • Working to predict, at birth, a predisposition to allergy and seeking to modify or eliminate allergic response through genetic or drug interventions

May is National Allergy Awareness Month