My GetLoud Personal Page
Dear friends and family,
This September, I’m joining an army: 5000+ SickKids supporters rallying together at a new fundraising event for SickKids called GetLoud. $2.5 million is our collective fundraising goal. We’re building a new SickKids, and it’s going to take all of us.
SickKids has always been on the front lines in the fight for children’s health. But the clinical facilities at SickKids are close to 70 years old. Today, one of the biggest battles at SickKids is fighting against the limits of an old building.
Why am I getting involved?
This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. I can’t say enough about how much I adore this place and appreciate all of the amazing staff working here. As many of you already know my daughter Olivia became a patient at SickKids nearly 3 years ago. That March 2015 was the beginning of a journey filled with uncertainty and fear, but which ultimately led us to SickKids and for that I will be forever grateful. We had recently returned home from a family trip to Hawaii and what had started there as lethargy (we thought possibly too much hiking, swimming, sightseeing and not enough sleep) quickly progressed to screaming in pain because of a headache, vomiting, being unable to walk, vision difficulty, overall confusion, and multiple trips to the Children’s hospital here in London. Following a number of different diagnoses, ranging from a simple viral infection to encephalitis, to ADEM, to wanting to do a brain biopsy to confirm another rare brain disease, we were at our wits end. My husband had spent hours upon hours researching different diseases and looking into each diagnosis we received. ultimately weighing the pros and cons of each subsequent treatment option. We were scared for our girl and terrified of the unknown. Prior to signing off for Olivia to have an extremely invasive brain biopsy that could potentially have major long lasting repercussions, we sought out a second opinion. This led us to SickKids and we were lucky enough to be seen by Dr. Ann Yeh. After Kurtis arrived at SickKids he called me, in tears, saying that as soon as he spoke with Dr. Yeh he felt that a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He no longer felt the need to research or look into the diagnoses given or double check treatment plans that were advised. As a result of the sheer number of difficult cases going through SickKids each year, Olivia’s illness was no longer an unknown - I can’t even explain the total relief that we felt as parents. Dr. Yeh diagnosed Olivia with antiMOG+ Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. She specializes in these types of brain disorders. We knew from that moment that we were in the right place.
Since her initial diagnosis, Olivia has had a relapse (this past Christmas) and is now on a long-term treatment plan via infusions approximately every 6 months, combined with regular MRIs. The drug that she is on should prevent any recurrences of her immune system attacking her brain. These infusions may be something she has to have for the rest of her life - that is still unknown at this point, and she will be seen regularly by Dr. Yeh and the team at SickKids until her 18th birthday. I know, though, that she is getting the best, cutting edge care and there is nowhere else I would rather her be.
Participant Name: Bridgette Hastings
Participant ID: 1414803
Participation Type: Adult March & Festival (18+)
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