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A Mother With A Passion

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There’s no place like home for the holidays, but for the patients at Children’s Hospital that’s not always possible. In 2013, Christmas for Kids was started as a way to remember these kids, show them encouragement, and raise money to directly impact the Children’s Hospital.

A two day live radio event from CF Polo Park, Christmas for Kids has become a wonderful tradition for amazing volunteers like Carla Veldkamp.

“It’s an annual event I look so forward to,” says Carla. “I enjoy the Announcers from the radio stations, I enjoy seeing my Children’s Hospital Foundation family and I really enjoy knowing that even though it’s such a busy time of year, so many people are coming together to raise money and help the lives of sick and injured children in our province.”

Carla’s appreciation for the Children’s Hospital Foundation runs deep, as she is not only an amazing volunteer but also a grateful Mom who has spent plenty of time at Children’s Hospital.

“The Children’s Hospital saved my son Ryan’s life,” says Carla. “I cannot imagine my son going through what he went through at any other place. The love, the care, the knowledge – it was all there for us. Ryan got sick when he was just four months shy of his 12th birthday, and now he’s just a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday. My son is alive today because of the Children’s Hospital. There’s no question about it.”

Ryan Veldkamp was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells), in 2008. His extensive treatment included 27 spinal’s (two of which he was awake for), four bone marrow tests, 33 x-rays, two ultrasounds, seven CT scans, seven blood transfusions, three bags of platelets, eight rounds of radiation, three MRI’s, two lung tests and numerous chemotherapy treatments.

“Everyone needs to support Christmas for Kids because even sick kids are supposed to feel the joy of the holidays,” says Carla. “As a Mom, you want your kids to be healthy, but you also want them to be happy. It was a massive battle for Ryan, and the incredible people at Children’s Hospital did everything they could to make him smile. The nurses sang Happy Birthday to him when he was in a coma. When Ryan eventually came out of the coma, he was smiling. We’ll never forget his amazing care, and we will always be grateful.”

Join us as patients and their families, doctors and researchers share their stories at CF Polo Park Centre Court Friday, December 8th from 6am-9pm to Saturday, December 9th from 9am-6pm. Learn more here…because our sick children need YOU now!