David Foster Foundation Fall 2018 Newsletter

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Fall 2018 Volume 24

CELEBRATE The Gift of Life

Guests of the Foy family’s British-themed poker tournament dressed as ‘Fish and Chips’. Proceeds from the tournament were donated to the Foundation.

WHAT’S INSIDE Matteo's Transplant Journey . . . . . 1 Message from the Chairman . . . . . 2 Message from the CEO . . . . . . . . . . 3 Message from the SVP, Fund Development . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Message from the Director of Family Relations . . . . 5 6th Annual Vancouver Island Motor Gathering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island . . . . . . . . . . 8 Foundation Family Updates . . . . . 10 Thank You OUTFRONT Media . . . . 11 Thanks to Our Life Legacy Members & Partners . . . . . . . . 11 Thank you GAIN Group and Villa Eyrie Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 212 Henry St., Victoria, BC V9A 3H9 Office: 250.475.1223 Fax: 250.475.1193 Toll Free: 1.877.777.7675 Follow us on:

Matteo's Transplant Journey


atteo Cavalca, the second son of Tatiana and Roger Cavalca, was born on December 9, 2002, in Vancouver, BC. Early exams revealed that Matteo had fused kidneys. This condition did not slow him down and he went on to grow into an active and vibrant young boy. In 2014, Matteo fell at a Junior Youth evening. Life for his family was about to drastically change. Two days later, he began throwing up. Diagnoses from a physician was that he had the stomach flu, but he did not get better with time. After many trips to the hospital, a CT scan and three ultrasounds, it was revealed that Matteo had a stage 3 Wilms tumour in his kidney. He would go through his cancer treatment with the support from his family and community. In February 2015, doctors determined that depending on the size of his cancerous tumour, they may need to remove his whole kidney. Matteo’s fused kidneys meant that he would need a kidney transplant to survive. His medical team did everything they could, but it soon became apparent that he would need a transplant. PROFILE Matteo Cavalca Age: 15 Transplant: Kidney Transplant Date: Nov 25, 2017 Home: Delta, BC Matteo, kidney transplant recipient, and his dog Ginger.

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Message from the Chairman


ne of the highlights of my summer was coming back to Victoria, my home town, to visit with my family and to enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world with dear friends and some of our dedicated donors of the Foundation.

For the very first time we held a 4-day Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island event. Donors came from all over North America to experience the magnificence of Vancouver Island. As I look back on this event, I was so impressed with our staff and volunteers along with the many local businesses that generously supported our Foundation with their products and services. I would also like to personally thank our Simply Spectacular Experinece on Vancouver Island partners, Sylvester Chuang and Peter Trzewik, the GAIN Group and the Villa Eyrie Resort. We could not have had such a successful event without your incredible generosity and support! I am always humbled and encouraged to see the support of our Foundation by so many people. It couldn’t come at a more important time for us as we are seeing such a dramatic increase in the number of children and families needing financial support throughout Canada. I am looking forward to this coming season as we build upon our awareness and education programs, and I’m committed to continue to strengthen our Foundation so we will be able to financially help families for generations to come. Sincerely,

David Foster Founder and Chairman

“I’m committed to continue to strengthen our Foundation so we will be able to financially help families for generations to come.”

David Foster with 12-year-old kidney transplant recipient, Rahmat and his family.


Fall 2018

Message from the CEO


s we come to a close on yet another amazing summer and welcome the fall season, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I look back on what has been accomplished and want to say a huge thank you to those of you who have made the decision to support the families of the David Foster Foundation and our cause. I know that because of your generosity and continued support, the life of a child’s transplant journey has been forever changed. This summer, we had the honour of hosting a group of our dedicated donors at our very first 4-day Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island fundraising event. I was blown away by the friendships formed, the memories made and the 2 million dollars that was raised over the course of these days. This event would not have been possible without the commitment and passion of our partners, the GAIN Group and the Villa Eyrie Resort. The transition into this fall season has once again reminded me of the reality in which our families face. They are consumed with the fight for their children’s lives, unable to enjoy first days of school, pumpkin patch visits and most, never even having the opportunity to leave the hospital. Unfortunately, this reality continues to rise in our nation, but we feel so grateful for the opportunity that we can come along side to support more families each year than we have ever been able to before. With Thanksgiving around the corner, let us always remember to take time out of our busy schedules to hold close our loved ones and extend a hand to those in need. It is in these times that we are reminded of what is truly most important, and that is life itself. I want to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to our partners, donors, and many volunteers who help ensure that these families have a place to turn to for years to come. That is something we can all be thankful for. Blessings,

Michael Ravenhill Chief Executive Officer

“We feel so grateful for the opportunity that we can come along side to support more families each year than we have ever been able to before.”

Mike Ravenhill and daughter Amanda during Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island event.

David Foster Foundation Newsletter


Message from the SVP, Fund Development


ver the past five years, the essence of my message in each newsletter has been to earn your support and inspire you to make a donation to the David Foster Foundation. The Foundation is the only one in Canada that supports families that have children going through the life-saving organ transplant process that require financial assistance. By doing so, we ensure that these families can remain together throughout their children's journey. In lieu of a 2018 gala, we held a 4-day Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island fundraising event for 40 couples at the end of July. In order to provide financial assistance to an overwhelming and unexpected number of new families, it was our hope to raise one million dollars through this event. The reason for the successful outcome is analogous to the proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child”, as we could not have achieved and exceeded our goal without the generosity of many. Our presenting sponsors and hosts, Sylvester Chuang and Peter Trzewik, from the Villa Eyrie Resort and the GAIN Group, deserve special recognition for making this event possible. The outcome would not have happened without the incredible customer service by the highlyskilled team from the Villa Eyrie Resort and the GAIN Group. Every detail was meticulously thought out from the moment the couples arrived at Victoria International Airport to the final dinner on the top of the mountain. All our guests were in agreeance that the entire experience was amazing. So many new friendships and memories were made. I would like to share some of the comments Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, from our guests regarding the team and with John Danson and David Foster at Government House in Victoria, BC. facilities. Everything was seamless. Customer service was excellent. The accommodations were first-class, surrounded by unquantifiable beauty. Under the leadership of their Executive Chef and Michelin Star Chef, each meal was plated with perfection and the taste that followed was “a party in the mouth”! It is impossible to share the experience without providing a few comments about the worldrenowned, Tilke-designed, Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. Guests had the opportunity to drive a variety of performance cars such as Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, and BMW. The experienced drivers found it to be a challenge and loved every technical turn. The more cautious drivers felt like Mario Andretti by the end of the day! There was a selection of luxury vehicles from the various GAIN dealerships ready for guests to enjoy a unique opportunity to enjoy Vancouver Island for a few hours, all with a picnic basket filled to the brim with delicious food for a secluded lunch out exploring. The Villa Eyrie and the GAIN Group never lost sight of our goal—to raise one million dollars for our Canadian families. As a result of their partnership and generosity, we raised an unbelievable TWO MILLION DOLLARS! A sincere thank you to Peter and Sylvester who put their hearts into making a difference in the lives


Fall 2018


of these children and their families. We could not have succeeded without them, their team, and generosity from the GAIN Group, the Villa Eyrie Resort, and Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. Thanks to the generous donors of the exceptional and unique live auction items and special gift* at the All White with a Splash of Purple evening. If you are looking for a sensational personal or business trip, consider one of these opportunities: • Luxury West Coast Vacation: Prestige Oceanfront Resort Donated by Prestige Hotels & Resorts • Cowichan River Outdoor & Fishing Lodge Donated by Sylvester Chuang & Peter Trzewik • The Trade Winds Aqua Terra Mayreau Island Donated by Magnus Lewin & Edith Carvalho/TradeWinds • Firlands Ranch Panorama Resort Retreat Donated by Margot Micallef • Log Castle Culinary Retreat, Big White, BC Donated by George & Sherry Schluessel • *1957 Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet – Donated by David Knight For more information, contact me directly at jdanson@davidfosterfoundation.com or 416-865-4646. Sincerely,

John Danson SVP, Fund Development

Message from the Director of Family Relations


hen I accepted the position as the new Director of Family Relations at the David Foster Foundation I knew I was granted an opportunity to make a positive impact in someone’s life. I have only been at the Foundation a short time; however it is already clear to me that this organization truly makes a difference in many families lives everyday. I have always seen the fall as a time to reflect and I would like to share a few things I am grateful for. First, I am thankful to have a new beginning at the Foundation and to be part of such a hardworking team. I am thankful to be able to witness how much the generous support of our donors, sponsors, partners, and volunteers help families whose children require life saving organ transplants. Lastly, and most importantly, I am thankful to be able to work with the families who are part of the David Foster Foundation. I would like to express my sincere thanks to them for sharing their stories with us in hopes of inspiring people to register as organ donors and give the gift of life. In my new role, I aspire to help the Foundation grow, to make meaningful connections with the families that we help, and to work hard to make a difference in people’s lives alongside David Foster, my co workers, the Board of Directors and all the Foundation’s supporters. I am looking forward to sharing the stories and experiences of what I learn through this amazing role in the coming years. Sincerely,

Aleea Dahinden Director of Family Relations


David Foster Foundation Newsletter


continued from page 1 appointments with specialists, pharmacokinetic testing, and kidney biopsies kept the family busy. Surgery to repair the tear in Matteo’s ureter would take longer than normal because his abdominal cavity was full of scar tissue from the numerous abdominal surgeries and radiation therapy he had already been through. Returning home after the long-anticipated surgery to repair his ureter, Matteo’s family finally felt they could breathe easier. “I also have to confess that now that we are breathing again, I feel so tired… it’s like I have been carrying a ton of rocks for 3.5 years and I can finally rest. So we have been taking the time, as a family, to rest,” Matteo’s mother writes on March 22, 2018.

Matteo at BC Children’s Hospital.

Matteo’s mother began testing to see if she could be a living donor. Several members of his family were perfect matches, however, doctors found small health issues that were non-life threatening but would diminish the kidney’s life expectancy once transplanted into Matteo.

This summer, the family balanced work, appointments, fun and rest, making up for time lost during Matteo's stay in hospital. He has regained his strength and playful spirit with support from his family, friends, teachers, peers and medical teams.

On November 23, 2017, Matteo’s family received a call that a kidney was available from a deceased donor—a perfect match. On November 24, Matteo underwent his transplant. Surgery was complete by 4am, November 25, Matteo’s Grandpa’s birthday! This day would now be even more special to his family as it celebrates his grandfather and Matteo's second chance at life.

Matteo has received excellent reports during his followups and he began grade 10 in September. He will be on immune-supressing medications for the rest of his life in order to keep his kidney, but the challenges are worth the ultimate gift that he has been given.

His parents were grateful for the Gift of Life their son was given, but feared complications in his recovery. Matteo showed signs of a lung collapse and a cystogram revealed a tear in his bladder. However, a biopsy of the new kidney confirmed no signs of rejection.

Matteo’s family is beyond grateful for his donor and the family that made his transplant possible; the medical teams that became friends; the friends that became family; the Foundation and the community from around the world who offered support and prayer for them during the most difficult time of their lives.

Matteo also faced mental challenges from being isolated from his life outside the hospital. His parents took turns being at home with his older brother, Bruno, and dog, Ginger, and he longed to return home with them. In December, it appeared the family would be spending Christmas at the hospital. Matteo’s mother updated friends and family explaining, “the four of us will be together and that’s what matters the most!” However, Matteo received a day pass and they spent Christmas at home. Bruno comforted his brother when he had to return to the hospital. Matteo decided not to take any more day passes as leaving home was too difficult for him. Matteo spent the first three months of 2018 in and out of hospital. Weekly blood work, nephrostograms,


Fall 2018

Matteo with his parents, Tatiana and Roger, brother Bruno, and dog Ginger.


6th Annual Vancouver Island Motor Gathering “Since 2015, the Foundation’s partnership with the GAIN Group has raised muchneeded funds for families with children going through the organ transplant process.”


n Sunday, August 26, the David Foster Foundation was honoured to be a part of the 6th Annual Vancouver Island Motor Gathering for the fourth consecutive year. Since 2015, the Foundation’s partnership with the GAIN Group has raised muchneeded funds for families with children going through the organ transplant process.

Over 7,500 enthusiastic spectators attended the event.

Surpassing last year's totals, this year the Motor Gathering raised $186,218 in cash donations for the David Foster Foundation, the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation, and families within the Cowichan Valley. Over a hundred sponsors participated in the event to contribute to its great success. Thank you to the GAIN Group for creating a fun-filled day on the track, as well as an opportunity for people within the community to come together in support of others. People of all ages admired over 400 classic, unique, modern, and custom cars and motorcycles displayed at the track. It was an honour to share our message about the importance of organ donation with over 7,500 spectators. The DFF team was thrilled to talk to people who were inspired to register their consent for organ donation because of the information that was shared with them that day. This is truly invaluable! We were so grateful for the opportunity to engage with those in attendance.

Evanne, two-time heart recipient, and her brother Bauer spoke with attendees about organ donation and shared Evanne’s story.

The $100,000 donated to the David Foster Foundation from the Motor Gathering will make a positive difference in the lives of families and children going through the organ transplant process. Thank you for showing them that they are never alone. The strength of our communities is inspiring! We look forward to seeing everyone next year on August 25, 2019!

David Foster Foundation and Cowichan District Hospital Foundation were the grateful benefactors of the event.

David Foster Foundation Newsletter


Simply Spectacular E X PE R I E NC E




rom July 30 to August 2, 2018, generous donors from across North America gathered on Vancouver Island to attend the David Foster Foundation Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island event presented by the Villa Eryie Resort and the GAIN Group. The goal of the event was to raise one million dollars to support the increase in the number of families requiring financial assistance during their children’s transplant journeys. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we surpassed this goal and raised over two million dollars! The support provided to these families will be invaluable. The GAIN Group has been a partner of the David Foster Foundation since 2015. Through this partnership, the GAIN Group has demonstrated a remarkable dedication to the Foundation and a passion for our cause, families and children. It was this shared passion and commitment that blended the picturesque beauty of Vancouver Island, world-class entertainment, and exceptional hospitality to create an intimate fundraising event at the stunning Villa Eyrie Resort. “When great people come together, miracles happen!” declared David Foster. Guests arrived at the Villa Eyrie Resort, overlooking the breathtaking views of the Saanich Inlet, for a magical four days in the beauty of the wild west coast. Brian McKnight, Angelica Hale, Melissa Peterman, Pia Toscano, Sheléa Frazier, and Fernando Varela all joined 16-time Grammy Award Winner David Foster on stage to share in two very special performances. It is heart-warming to see so many people come together to make a positive difference in the lives of others. “It would not be possible to do the work that we do without the tireless dedication of hundreds of volunteers who give their time to our Foundation because they recognize the importance of keeping children and their families together,” noted Michael Ravenhill, Chief Executive Officer.


Fall 2018

Alongside the GAIN Group and the Villa Eyrie Resort, several individuals and organizations went above and beyond to ensure the event was a dazzling success, including local tour companies, sponsorships from local vendors, and a special dinner at Government House hosted by Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. We were honoured to offer several unique and special auction packages to our guests, thanks to the generosity of our auction donors: Prestige Hotels & Resorts, for a Luxury West Coast Vacation at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort; Sylvester Chuang and Peter Trzewik, for a Luxury West Coast Vacation at Cowichan River Outdoor & Fishing Lodge; Magnus Lewin and Edith Carvalho of TradeWinds, for the TradeWinds Aqua Terra Experience on Mayreau Island; Margot Micallef, for a Retreat at Firlands Ranch, combined with Panorama Resort; George and Sherry Schluessel, for A Log Castle Culinary Retreat in Big White at the White Spirit Lodge; and David Knight for his donation of a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet. Thank you to everyone who made the event a success and allowing us to create more tomorrows for children today.

From our presenting sponsors Villa Eyrie Resort and the GAIN Group, Peter Trzewik, Chief Operating Officer and Dr. Sylvester Chuang, Chief Executive Officer.

Life Legacy Members Jim and Sandi Treliving with Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and David Foster.

Guests enjoy the view during cocktails on the All White with a Splash of Purple evening.

Proud supporter, Joan Waechter and her nephew Wes Schild with Dr. Sylvester Chuang.

Generous supporter Walter Scott and his guest Cindy Smith.

David Foster with long-time supporters Richard Stephenson and Dr. Stacie Stephenson.

David Foster Foundation Newsletter


Foundation Family Updates

Guests in their British-themed costumes for the Foy family annual Poker Tournament.

Isla enjoying fall in Nova Scotia.

Foy Family Fundraiser…

The Marshall Family…


hoenix Borrowman was born on April 8, 2009. After suffering cardiac arrest on three occasions, Phoenix received a life-saving heart transplant on August 14, 2009. The Foundation provided financial assistance to the family throughout their transplant journey so that they could focus on caring for Phoenix. This September, Phoenix started grade 4 and is the tallest in her class. She loves to work on art projects and write graphic novels. Last year, she enjoyed a very special American Thanksgiving at the home of her donor family in Miami. This year, on August 15, one day after Phoenix’s ninth heart day anniversary, Phoenix’s ten-year-old cousin, Madelyn Foy, inspired family and friends to come together to fundraise for the David Foster Foundation. The Foy family hosted their annual poker tournament to benefit the Foundation. The event was “British Invasion” themed and guests’ costumes ranged from Harry Potter to Boy George to Fish and Chips. The event raised funds with the buy in, people re-buying in, and with a raffle to sit at the VIP table (the coveted seats came with full service – a menu of drinks and food, and even shoulder rubs). During the event, the Foy family shared information about the importance of organ donation and had organ donor registry forms to encourage everyone to sign up. Family and friends had a great night, and the event raised $1,000 for the Foundation.


Fall 2018


sla Marshall was not even a year old and very sick due to liver failure when her mother, Katie, found out she was able to be Isla’s living liver donor. Isla and her parents, Katie and Evan, travelled to SickKids hospital in Toronto from their home thousands of kilometers away in Nova Scotia for Isla’s medical care. The Foundation provided financial assistance to the family so that they could all be together. We would like to share an update on the Marshall family provided by Katie: “Things have been going really well since transplant. Isla celebrated her second year post transplant on June 30. We celebrated at home with a nice dinner, sparklers and a cake. We are still so thankful for her second chance and ensure we make a point of celebrating the important milestone as a family. Isla has us on our toes all of the time. She knows her numbers, colours, letters and can recite about 10 nursery rhymes independently. She usually does this late at night when she should be sleeping. We are so excited for fall. The apple farms are in full harvest and we frequent the markets and many of the community events. Isla is already asking about Halloween where she will probably dress as a princess. She’s been attending daycare throughout the week and has started to make some friendships. It is so amazing to watch her grow and thrive like all of her peers. She’s one very strong willed, independent lady. It is no wonder she is doing so well. She wouldn’t have it any other way.”


Thank You OUTFRONT Media


he David Foster Foundation is grateful for our national partnership with OUTFRONT Media. Our ongoing digital billboard campaign features 800,000 daily impressions to spread the message about the importance of organ donation and encourage support for families undergoing pediatric organ transplants. These messages can be seen across 109 digital billboards in five major cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The positive impact can be felt in messages such as this one from a Toronto transplant social worker: “I wanted to let you know that I think of you every day on my trip home. I take the GO train (public transit that goes out of the city) and pass a large screen advertisement board that shows different messages, and I always see DFF ads! Love it, and it’s in a place that lots of people pass, so it’s seen by a lot of people. I really like that a lot of the focus is on being a donor. It’s so great of DFF to bring people’s attention to this!”

THANKS TO OUR LIFE LEGACY MEMBERS TELUS | Slaight Family Foundation | GAIN Group Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation in Partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Jim Pattison | Jim & Sandi Treliving | Parq Vancouver



David Foster Foundation Newsletter


Simply Spectacular E X PE R I E NC E




THANK YOU to our generous presenting partners for helping us raise over 2 MILLION DOLLARS in support of Canadian families with children needing life-saving organ transplants.

To learn more on how to donate & future fundraising events please visit davidfosterfoundation.com

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