Monday, July 28, 2014

Show Your Support for Children’s Health with the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk to Benefit SickKids #WalkforSickKids

"Sorry to have to call you, but we had another problem today. I'd like you to come in to discuss."

When the principal at your child's school phones, it's generally not good news. And you know you have something big to deal with.

We knew from a young age that there was something "different" about Boo. Even as an infant he was extremely irritable and almost inconsolable. And yes, according to every other mom who spent a good amount of time with him, it was outside the norm. As he entered daycare and then school settings, we saw incidents of frustration leading to aggression towards other kids. He was showing rigidity, inattentiveness, lack of impulse control, and more. We started looking for answers when he was 4 years old. But it wasn't until I demanded a referral to the ADHD research group at the Hospital for Sick Children that we finally got solid answers and a clear path forward.

At age 6 Boo went through a day of tests, while Hubs and I had intensive interviews with a social worker. Boo was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, and we were told he tested in the gifted range in literacy and numeracy. Everything now started to make sense. Knowing what we were dealing with finally allowed us to work with Boo and his school to help him succeed, both academically and socially.

SickKids has become a big part of our life now. Boo has regular appointments with a psychiatrist specialising in ADHD and ODD. We monitor and adjust his medications, talk about behavioural concerns and coping strategies, and the psychiatrist monitors his moods. This last part is really important, as some of the medications could trigger depression in children, but the level of care Boo receives at SickKids leaves me confident that Boo is in very capable and caring hands. Thanks to the great work of the researchers and clinicians at SickKids, Boo is now doing very well at school and in other social situations. He is making friends and learning to implement his coping skills and manage his impulses. We're not at 100%, but we're getting there, and we'll continue to work with the ADHD Clinic for as long as we need.

As you can imagine, we are big supporters of the Hospital for Sick Children, which we show through a monthly contribution to the SickKids Foundation. And because we encourage Boo in his own charitable giving, I always make sure to have some coins for him to drop into the big donation box in the lobby at each visit. He understands that the money he's giving goes to support the great work that is helping him and so many other kids.

There are so many ways to give back to SickKids, and perhaps the most fun one is the CanaccordGenuity Great Camp Adventure Walk to Benefit SickKids. This walk is perfect for families, and it gets everyone involved in fundraising, providing a great opportunity to teach our kids about the importance of giving back. On walk day, more than a thousand walkers will take to the streets of downtown Toronto, united in a common goal of supporting SickKids and helping to improve children’s health. The full walk is 20km, but families and individuals can choose to walk 5, 10, or 15km if that suits them better. Along the route are a series of fun-filled campsites, each themed to offer unique games and activities that will challenge and entertain. Plus the organisers will keep you fed and hydrated with meals and snacks throughout the day.

WHEN: September 27, 2014
WHAT: 5km, 10km, 15km or 20km walks
WHO: You! Involve the whole family to fundraise and participate in the walk
FUNDRAISING GOALS: Adults are required to raise a minimum of $500, youth (age 5-17) are required to raise a minimum of $150. In addition there is a $65 (adult) and $35 (youth) registration fee. Children 0-4 are not required to pay a registration fee or fundraise.

Best of all? 100% of all donations from the walk goes directly to SickKids Foundation. The proceeds are earmarked for The Possibilities Fund, the hospital's most flexible pot of funding, so you know the money will be used for the most urgent and immediate needs.

Still not sure about participating? Have a look at these imagesfrom last year's walk. I think they'll inspire you to join in the fun for this great cause!

Whether you are registeringfor the walk, or just want to follow along, you can connect and keep up with all the news via Facebook or Twitter. Or follow the hashtag #WalkforSickKids

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by The SickKids Foundation, however the opinions and images are my own. For more information please visit

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