David Foster Foundation Summer 2023 Newsletter

Page 1

CELEBRATE the Gift of Life

Kane’s Transplant Story

Brooklyn and Garrett were overjoyed to find out they were pregnant with their first child. At 33 weeks pregnant, Brooklyn went in for her third-trimester ultrasound. A few days later her obstetrician called her and said that he saw something abnormal with her baby’s heart and wanted to send her to a bigger hospital for an echocardiogram. When the doctor reviewed the results from the echocardiogram they diagnosed her baby with critical aortic stenosis, a congenital heart defect in which the valve between the lower left heart chamber and the body’s main artery is narrowed and doesn’t open fully. This was devastating news for the expecting parents.


On July 20, 2022, Kane was born and immediately admitted to SickKids hospital. Just barely a day old, Kane underwent his first surgery. This surgery aimed to open the aortic valve that was narrowed due to his condition. Although the procedure went perfectly in a technical sense, the valve did collapse again. This surgery was repeated, followed by two other attempts to repair the damage with hybrid procedures with the intent of temporarily fixing his heart so the family could go home and come back at a later point for a valve replacement once Kane had grown more. Ultimately, none of the four surgeries Kane underwent were enough. His heart was too damaged and at five weeks old he was listed for a heart transplant.

Photo credit: Flytographer
CONTINUES ON PAGE 4 SUMMER 2023 | VOLUME 41 Kane's Transplant Story 1 Message from the Chairman 2 Message from the CEO 2 Message from the SVP, 3 Fund Development Message from the Director 3 of Family Relations Kane's Transplant Journey 4 Continued The Ant That Needed A Transplant 6 iHeartGuts 7 Celebrating Over 10 Years Partnership 8 Foundation Facebook Page 9 Update Laver Cup Save the Date 10 Thank You to All Our Partners 11 Simply Spectacular Los Cabos 12 212 HENRY ST., VICTORIA, BC V9A 3H9 OFFICE: 250.475.1223 FAX: 250.475.1193 TOLL FREE: 1.877.777.7675 DAVIDFOSTERFOUNDATION.COM
Mom, Brooklyn, and dad, Garrett, with heart transplant recipient Kane

Celebrating Over Three Decades

Message from the Chairman

As we continue to celebrate the past three decades of making a difference in the lives of children and families facing the challenges of organ transplantation, I am truly humbled by the impact we have collectively achieved.

None of our accomplishments would be possible without the invaluable contributions of our partners. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our dedicated Community Partners, National Partners, and our Life Legacy Members. Your unwavering commitment and generosity have been instrumental in enabling us to provide critical assistance and support to transplant families.

I would like to offer a special recognition to our newest Life Legacy

Members, Jim Wilson and Vivian Roy. Your support demonstrates an exceptional commitment to our mission and will help us continue our work with transplant families.

For over 37 years, the Foundation has been driven by a simple yet powerful vision - to make a difference in the lives of children going through the transplant process. Inspired by the encouragement of my mother, we have worked to ensure that families facing the complexities of this journey have the support for all of their non-medical expenses.

Together, with the support of our partners and the entire community, we have achieved remarkable milestones. Your continued support fuels our determination to expand our reach,

So Much To Be Grateful For

Message from the Chief Executive Office

As we enjoy our warm summer months, I find myself eagerly looking forward to spending cherished moments with my family and dear grandchildren. These precious occasions offer an opportunity to slow down, recharge, and intentionally create lasting memories. Watching my grandchildren grow and explore the wonders of life fills me with immense gratitude for our Foundation's work. However, our mission is far from complete. We must intensify our efforts to educate and raise awareness about the critical need for organ donation in both Canada and in the United States. By doing so, we can bring hope and healing to more families, ensuring that children in need receive life-saving organ transplants without delay.

We are thrilled to look ahead with anticipation and excitement as we

embark on two remarkable events in 2023. Firstly, we are honoured to be selected as the charity of choice at the prestigious Laver Cup in Vancouver, BC, where we will have the opportunity to shine a light on our mission and the importance of organ and tissue donation and registration. Additionally, we are eagerly preparing for our highly anticipated fundraising event, Simply Spectacular Los Cabos. This exceptional gathering will bring together compassionate individuals like yourself, united in their commitment to transforming the lives of children and families in need. Together, we will establish a brighter future and ensure that our impact continues to bring an awareness of the need to become a registered organ and tissue donor. None of these initiatives would be possible without your support and

raises awareness about the importance of organ donation, and provides assistance to even more families in need.

Together, we are making a difference and creating a brighter future for transplant families.

dedication. Your generosity and belief in our cause have been the driving force behind our achievements, and for that, I am profoundly grateful. Your ongoing commitment allows us to make a positive difference in the lives of transplant families.

Wishing you a continued safe and happy summer ahead!

With sincere appreciation,

2 Summer 2023
Founder and Chairman David Foster Foundation

Dear Friends of the Foundation

Message from SVP, Fund Development

No matter where you turn, every day, we are inundated with headlines in regard to inflation as it relates to how the cost of food, gas, housing, and general living expenses have and continues to increase without abatement. These are the factual areas where we provide support for our vulnerable families from across Canada that are going through the horrific pediatric organ transplant process and desperately need our financial support. The “numbers” tell the story. Our year to date funding has increased 70% from 2022 in the first half of 2023. These exponential cost increases have hit us and the most vulnerable between the eyes.

We are the North. We refuse to surrender to this unconstructiveness. We ensure that Canadian families who require our financial support don’t go unattended. Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about families and

children. It doesn’t get more basic. We sincerely need you. Please consider being part of the solution.

Imagine, 3,777 Canadians are on a waitlist to receive an organ transplant. 274 Canadians died in 2022 while waiting for a kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, or heart transplant. The statistics are intolerable. We need to spend more time and money in forming and demonstrating to all Canadians why being an organ donor is so imperative, and life-saving. To accomplish this, we need the requisite financial support to launch a substantial organ donor awareness campaign. Increasing the percentage of registered organ donors will unequivocally save lives.

As I have mentioned in my previous newsletters, philanthropy is about charity, compassion, and magnanimity. The key is the act of giving rather than a specified amount. You can become a philanthropist today and help us steer

The Power of Transplant

Message from Director of Family Relations

The Canadian Health Institute for Health Information released transplant statistics for 2022. In 2022, DFF provided financial support to 29% of Canadian families whose child received a liver, kidney, heart, or lung transplant. This is a substantial percentage of Canadian pediatric transplants, and we are proud to be able to support the number of families that we do.

In the information released by the Canadian Health Institute for Health Information, the data showed that 37% of children who received a kidney transplant in 2023 received a kidney donated by a living donor. 49% of children who received a liver transplant received a part of a liver donated by a living donor. These are both

numbers that speak to the crucial role that living donors play in the transplant world. To save a child’s life, parents and loved ones, and even strangers, are becoming living organ donors in order to save sick children..

On page 7, you will find an article about the Foundation’s wonderful partnership with iHeartGuts. Pictured alongside the article are photos of both Calvin and Denis who received transplants from living donors.

Denis’ Dad selflessly donated one of his kidneys to his son in May 2022.

In January 2022, Calvin received a kidney from a living donor through the kidney paired donation program, which is a program that matches transplant

How to make a donation to the Foundation:

1. Mail your cheques to David Foster Foundation, 212 Henry Street, Victoria BC V9A 3H9

2. Please call 1-877-777-7675

3. Online through PayPal at davidfosterfoundation.com

4. Electronic funds transfer— please email info@davidfosterfoundation.com

the ship through these rough waters. We sincerely need you.

With sincere regards,

candidates with suitable living donors. It gives people the chance to become a living kidney donor while ensuring that someone they want to help receives a needed kidney, even if they are not a direct match.

These two children are just a small part of all the Canadian children who received transplants, both from living and deceased donors, in 2022. It is families like theirs that you could help by registering your intent to be an organ donor.


The David Foster Foundation

Brooklyn and Garrett were initially under the impression that once Kane was born, he would be hospitalized for two to five weeks and then be expected back at SickKids for a valve replacement. They planned and budgeted around this considering the cost of parking, accommodation, and having someone care for their home and pets. Unfortunately, the surgeries did not work, and the family was now looking at an unknown amount of time at SickKids while Kane waited for a heart transplant. The family remembers this time, “when the idea of transplant was first introduced to us, it seemed worst case scenario. How did we go from being told one surgery, to a second, to a third, and then a fourth one coming up, and now a heart transplant? We couldn’t wrap our heads around it. But after talking with the transplant team at length and getting a much better idea of what his life would be like and comparing it to the original plan of valve replacement, it seemed less scary.”

Once Kane was listed for a heart transplant, the family’s social worker spoke to the family about the David Foster Foundation, which the family was already familiar with. The Foundation supported the family with their mortgage costs, vehicle payments, the cost of the Ronald McDonald House, and food expenses while Brooklyn and Garrett temporarily relocated to Toronto so they could be bedside with Kane while he waited for his heart transplant. This was helpful for the family as Brooklyn remembers, “The David Foster Foundation was able to support us financially, so we didn't need to worry about some major expenses, work, or where our next meal was coming from. We were able to just focus 100% on our baby and the road ahead. It truly would have been a much different experience without the Foundation’s help and support. It is a phenomenal non-profit organization that did so much for us.”

The waiting period is hard for many transplant families, and this was the case for Kane’s family. Brooklyn shares that, “we faced many struggles and challenges along the way, but I think the hardest thing for us was recognizing that a heart transplant for Kane meant that another baby had to pass away. We felt so guilty hoping and praying for a heart, because we felt we were hoping and praying for another family to lose their baby. We had to realize that whether Kane needed a heart or not, this child was going to pass away. We were praying that the family would know the importance of organ donation and find comfort in saving another life —if not multiple lives.”

At 5pm on October 20th, 2022, Brooklyn and Garret were informed that Kane would be going in for transplant at 5am the next morning. The couple stayed up all night with their baby, holding him until it was time for the transplant. October 21, 2022, Kane was called for transplant, and remembering it, the family

Above: Kane recovering after transplant at SickKids. Below: Kane 6 months post-transplant at home.

shares, “When we got the news Kane was getting a heart, it was definitely a huge wave of emotions. I thought I had mentally prepared for it all, having a lot of time to think about what this all meant for us and the donating family, but nothing really prepares you for that day to come. We felt a lot of relief and happiness but also recognized that such a happy day for us was likely the worst day for this other family. We were, and still are, very thankful that the family gave Kane another chance at life. We called just a few family members and a lot of tears were shed.” During the transplant surgery, the family remained calm as they had gotten to know the transplant team and surgeons well and felt that he was in good hands.

Kane’s surgery went well, but his fight continued posttransplant. Everything heart-related went well, but he had breathing issues. His left lung collapsed after extubation three separate times and due to this he was on breathing support for weeks after until his lungs grew strong enough. Kane had never not been on some sort of pain medication (morphine, fentanyl, etc.), so weaning him off these medications was the longest and toughest part of the recovery. On December 29th, 2022, the family was allowed to return home. Kane was discharged on clonidine and did suffer some harsh symptoms of withdrawal. However, “looking at him now I don't think you could ever guess what he's been through” says Brooklyn..

Post-transplant, Kane continues to have regular medical needs. He requires a G-tube to help support his feeding. The first time he was able to feed from a bottle was at four months old so he is having to adjust to oral feeding. The g-tube also makes it easier for Brooklyn and Garret to administer medications for anti-rejection, blood pressure control and reflux. They also take him to transplant-related follow-up appointments every few weeks, which include echograms and bloodwork.

Despite his care needs, Brooklyn and Garret share that, “Kane is a happy healthy one-year-old baby boy. He loves being home and meeting his friends and family. He is quickly catching up on his delayed development. We work hard every day at physiotherapy and oral feeding. Kane never smiled in the hospital so seeing him thrive at home, always laughing, always smiling, is truly amazing. We love to watch him grow, discover things, and finally just get to be a baby.”

It truly would have been a much different experience without the Foundation’s help and support. It is a phenomenal non-profit organization that did so much for us.
Above: Kane pre-transplant. Below: Brooklyn and Garett’s maternity shoot in 2022.

The Ant Who Needed a Transplant

In 2013, Dr. William Wall received the Medical Achievement Award from the David Foster Foundation. Dr. Wall was presented the award on December 5, at the Foundation's annual Miracle Gala & Concert in Toronto.

Dr. Wall was given the Medical Achievement Award for his outstanding medical accomplishments and pioneering work with transplantation. Dr. Wall's innovative contributions to organ donation and transplantation in Canada include performing some of the earliest successful liver transplants, using the first living liver donors, developing the high school education program One Life... Many Gifts, and creating a Donor Medal which is now given to donor families across the country.

This year, Dr. Wall wrote The Ant Who Needed a Transplant, a children’s book about transplant illustrated by Dave Hall.

Dr. Wall kindly donated copies of the Foundation and we have begun to mail them out to families whose children are celebrating their first transplant anniversary this year.

We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Wall and everyone else involved in the publishing of the book for their generosity and look forward to sharing The Ant Who Needed a Transplant.

If you would like to order your own copy, please visit www.theantwhoneededatransplant.ca


iHeartGuts is a unique company that has gained recognition for its creative and quirky approach to anatomical education and awareness. They specialize in creating fun, colorful, and whimsical plush organs that serve as educational tools and conversation starters.

The David Foster Foundation, in collaboration with iHeartGuts, has found a heartwarming way to support children who have recently received life-saving organ transplants. As a gesture of comfort and companionship, the Foundation has sent these adorable plush organs created by iHeartGuts to children across Canada to help celebrate their one year transplant anniversaries. These cuddly toys not only bring joy to the young recipients but also serve as a tangible reminder of their incredible journey and the importance of organ donation.

iHeartGuts continues to be a company that combines creativity, education, and compassion to make a difference in the lives of all. Thank you, iHeartGuts!

Right: Heart transplant recipient, Stevie, with her stuffy heart.

Bottom right: Heart transplant recipient, Kolt, with his stuffy heart.

Bottom left: Kidney transplant recipient, Calvin, with his stuffy kidney.

Over 10 Years Partnership


Partial proceeds of the theatre revenue have gone directly to DFF.

Oak Bay Beach Hotel celebrates 95 years of service.

10 Year Anniversary

Annual donations contributed to DFF

DFF and OBBH Partnership launch to celebrate 25 years of DFF

Introduced the OBBH official mascot, Oliver Bear

Partial proceeds of Oliver Bear’s sales have gone directly to DFF.

DFF and Oak Bay Beach Hotel to participate in community initiatives


November 17, 2023


An Evening to Inspire!
Opening of the David Foster Foundation Theatre
sure to visit oakbaybeachhotel.com for event updates and sign up for
Introducing our NEW Facebook Page Like our page today!
For package information and pricing please contact info@davidfosterfoundation.com

James Wilson & Vivian Roy

The David Foster Foundation is elated to have James Wilson and Vivian Roy be the latest to join our esteemed Life Legacy Members. Their profound commitment and unwavering dedication to our cause will pave the way for the David Foster Foundation to support families for generations to come.

With their support, we can continue our mission of providing financial assistance to families facing organ transplant journey. The impact of their generosity will leave a lasting legacy.

We are deeply grateful for the trust and belief they place in the Foundation, empowering us to create a brighter future for those in need.

James is CEO/Owner of Wilson Asset Group, a divested portfolio of companies in trucking and logistics, waste management, healthcare and real-estate. James is a multi-faceted person with a desire to better the world and himself, one venture and adventure at a time. Starting his career in 1979, purchasing the family trucking business established in 1937. Prior to his grandfather and father starting in the trucking industry, they cleared the northeast area of the Ontario Holland Marsh

to rent lands to local growers. James’ father then a teenager convinced his father to purchase a truck to transport the vegetables and local milk from farms to the Toronto market. Soon to realize that trucking was a business with a future . Cash in short supply in the 1930’s, they came to a barter arrangement and swapped the family Holland Marsh farm for a Toronto trucking business with four trucks. The trucking business grow into one of the largest private food carriers in Canada. Many of Wilson company bands are household names within Canada and the US.

Vivian and James are proud of their most recent venture in the healthcare sector, trying to support the troubled Canadian system. DeerFields Clinic has a multidisciplinary team practice using conventional, preventive, precision, integrative and naturopathic medicine to support health goals through intensive lifestyle coaching, cardio metabolic hormone optimization, natural health products, detoxification and other therapies.

We would like to extend our heartfelt commendation to David Foster and his remarkable executive team at the Foundation. Vivian and I have been proud supporters of this incredible organization for several years, witnessing firsthand their unwavering dedication and support towards families with children in need of lifesaving organ transplants. Their tireless efforts have made a profound impact on the lives of these families, offering hope and a second chance at life. We express our deepest gratitude to David Foster and his team for their unwavering commitment to this noble cause.


Life Legacy Members

The Anschutz Foundation

Argyros Family Foundation

Jim & Sandi Treliving

Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation

James Wilson & Vivian Roy

Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation in Partnership with Catalyst Capital Group

Kyle MacDonald & John Franklin

Jim Pattison

Joan & Paul Waechter

Walter & Maria Schneider

National Partners

Cares for Kids

Community Partners

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Below: We need a caption
The David Foster Foundation
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