It’s all about family. That simple message was an inspiration for many of the 1,400 participants at McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation’s annual Miracle Weekend. The weekend featured two major fundraising events: Walk & Wheel for Miracles and Miracle Plane Pull. The two events combined raised nearly $240,000, with donations still coming in. This money will fund the purchase of prioritized items at McMaster Children’s Hospital.
At Bayfront Park on June 4, over 100 participants strolled or pedaled at Walk & Wheel in memory of Zoë Smith from Binbrook, who passed away in January 2015. Zoë was born with a muscle disease that resulted in low muscle tone, making movement more difficult for her. She received care at McMaster Children’s Hospital all her life for the condition. She passed away from complications due to a severe cold just eight days shy of her 13th birthday.
Zoë’s father Casey assembled a team for Walk & Wheel as a way to honour his daughter and thank McMaster Children’s Hospital for years of outstanding care. The team members all wore pink, which was Zoë’s favourite colour.
Another team with a strong personal motivation to participate in Walk & Wheel was “Kelsey’s Krew,” which was formed by family, friends and former colleagues in honour of the late Kelsey Sonnenburg. Kelsey was a nurse at McMaster Children’s Hospital who lost her life in May 2015, just short of her 24th birthday, during a tragic hiking accident at Tiffany Falls.
At Miracle Plane Pull, which was held at Hamilton International Airport on June 5, Melissa and Ian Thompson formed a team to take on the challenge of pulling a 125,000 lb Boeing 727 25 feet. This was just one of the ways the family has thanked the Hospital for the care received by their son for his epilepsy. When two-year-old Anthony first visited McMaster Children’s Hospital, he was experiencing 20 seizures a day. Thanks to the care he received, he is living seizure-free.
Miracle Weekend is a time to share memories and spend time with loved ones while supporting the Foundation’s goal of Health Care, Transformed for the children and youth of the region. Donations can still be made at www.mackids.ca or 1-866-622-5437.
All photographs courtesy of Carole & Roy Timm Photography.