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Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation kicked off the new year with a very special donation.
On January 9, six-year-old Jacob dropped in to present a cheque for $200 in funds he requested instead of gifts at his birthday party. The funds he helped raise will be used to support paediatric care for Southlake's youngest patients.
“We just wanted to do something other than the traditional gifts,” says Monika, Jacob's mum. “It's something we've talked about with him before, and we honestly weren't sure if he was still too young. But when his birthday came around, he really wanted to do it. My husband and I picked a few different charities for Jacob to choose from. We looked at their websites together, and he asked lots of questions about how his donation would help. We just guided him, but he decided on his own that he really wanted to help babies at Southlake.”
The family, residents of Tottenham, have a personal connection to Southlake. Jacob himself was born here, as was his younger brother, Nico. Due to complications at birth, Jacob also had a short stay in Southlake's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and both he and his brother have visited Southlake's Emergency Department a few times over the years.
Jacob's parents were pleased to see his excitement over it all while they went through the process. For them, giving back is an important part of life and community, and it's an important lesson for both of their sons to learn. As a registered nurse herself, Monika was particularly happy that he had chosen to support health care.
“This donation was a really special one for us,” says Susan Mullin, President & CEO at Southlake Foundation. “It's donations of all sizes that have helped shape Southlake into the regional centre of excellence that it is today, one that is trusted by so many in our communities. Jacob is already giving back to support his hospital. He's a great example of the power that one person – no matter their age – can have. It was also our first in-person cheque presentation of the year, so a really feel-good way for our team to kick off 2019.”
Approximately 2,600 babies are born at Southlake every year, many of them requiring specialized care. Last year alone 364 newborns were admitted to Southlake's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, spending a total of 2,843 days in hospital for care. The Paediatric Oncology Clinic saw 1,311 patient visits, and more than 2,500 children were seen in the Paediatric Urgent Care Clinic.
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