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WINTER 2019 | VOLUME 29 Jeremy's Transplant Journey


Message from the Chairman


Message from the CEO


Message from the SVP, Fund Development


Message from the Director of Family Relations


An Exciting Year in Review Highlights of 2019


Helping Families Through the Gift of Flight


'Tis the Season for Giving


LifeNote Concert Fundraiser


Congratulations, Jim Treliving!


Sponsor Spotlight: Oak Bay Beach Hotel


Thank You to All Our Partners


Hotel X Toronto | Save the Date!


212 HENRY ST., VICTORIA, BC V9A 3H9 OFFICE: 250.475.1223 FAX: 250.475.1193 TOLL FREE: 1.877.777.7675 DAVIDFOSTERFOUNDATION.COM

Jeremy's Transplant Journey Kelly McQuillan, step-mother to Jeremy Hovington, shares the journey her family faced when they learned Jeremy would require a life-saving kidney transplant in 2018.


COMOX, BC In the fall of 2016, Jeremy Hovington was a healthy, typical 15-year-old who loved basketball, video games, and spending time with his friends. Like most teenagers, he inhaled junk food and regularly stayed up to the wee hours of the night, because that’s what you do when you’re a teenager. Little did his dad, Tomy, and I, his stepmom, know that his carefree innocence was on borrowed time.

Over the course of the next few months, Jeremy was often sniffly and exhausted and developed sinus and ear infections, aching joints and a cough that wouldn’t go away. His appetite also dwindled. While we attributed some of the symptoms to poor nutrition and frequent allnighters, visits to the medical clinics were ineffective. Antibiotics were prescribed but the symptoms never fully cleared. In the meantime, we were preparing to move to Vancouver Island that summer with Jeremy’s younger brother Rowan. It was a crazy time. One spring morning, Tomy found Jeremy with dried blood on his lips from bleeding gums. He was hardly able to move and all of his joints were visibly swollen. Luckily, there was a pediatric specialist working in the ER that day who immediately started the process of transferring Jeremy to Rheumatology at Vancouver Children’s Hospital. CONTINUES ON PAGE 4

Striving to Increase Public Awareness for Organ Donation


t’s that time once again when the holidays remind us of the importance of spending quality time with family and friends. Reflecting on what is truly important, I hope the work the David Foster Foundation does inspires you to register as an organ donor and share your wishes with your family over the holidays. With less than 25% of Canadians registered as organ donors, I know we can do better. In addition to registering as an organ donor and speaking to your family, there are many ways you can give back over the holidays. You can directly donate to the Foundation online, donate Aeroplan points to help a family with travel, donate RBC Rewards points which converts to direct dollars to support a family, and more! I encourage you to read our newsletter which outlines the many ways you can give back, not only over the holidays, but year round.

This past year has been another milestone year in my life. Together, we brought organ donor awareness and education to a new level of success. I would like to thank The JUNO Awards for honouring me with their 2019 Humanitarian Award and shining a special light on the importance of becoming a registered organ donor nationwide. Having my good friend and fellow supporter, Sting, alongside me on stage for that moment will always be memorable. Finally, I’d like to thank YOU! Thank you for your support over this past year. I know we will accomplish great things together in 2020. Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Happy Hanukkah, and all the very best for a fabulous New Year!


David Foster Founder and Chairman

Photo credit: Vito Amati

The Love We Put Into Giving


t’s hard to believe another year has passed. It’s been a busy year for the David Foster Foundation team. It was an honour to work with the Villa Eyrie Resort and GAIN Group to celebrate the second Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island. This event raised an impressive $1.4 million for transplant families and would not have been made possible without our supporters. Year after year, I am honoured to see the support the David Foster Foundation receives from donors, volunteers, partners, and sponsors. I want to sincerely thank all those who gave their time and money to the Foundation this year. With support like yours, we are making a difference in the lives of transplant families.

family about organ donation and how you could one day leave a legacy through the gift of life. Let us remember, the best gifts come from our hearts and it is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!


Michael Ravenhill Chief Executive Officer Cassandra and Michael Ravenhill with the Fisher family (middle) Tamara, Bauer, and Evanne, a two-time heart transplant recipient.

Over the holidays, I encourage you to take a moment to speak with your


Winter 2019 Photo credit: Kevin Cosgrove

With support like yours, we are making a difference in the lives of transplant families.

When Every Penny Counts


s regular readers of our newsletter CELEBRATE The Gift of Life, you know we continually recognize our donors, especially our Life Legacy Members, and our National and Community partners. As you are aware, annually we take advantage of David Foster’s musical prowess along with his talented friends from the music industry and host an event where we raise a significant amount of funds for transplant families. To date, we have financially supported over 1,200 families whose children require lifesaving organ transplants. We are proud and honoured to recognize the major donors, organizations and individuals who make a difference. If you don’t mind, bear with me as I share a cute personal family memory from when I was growing up. Whenever my mother had to use the facilities, in her inevitable, distinct British accent,

she would say, “Children, excuse me but I must go to spend a penny”. In those days, if you wanted to use a public washroom in London, England, it cost a British penny. Even today, I still use the expression as do my grandchildren… always with a smile. Every penny was as important then as every penny we receive now at the Foundation is appreciated and valued. Every penny counts towards building brighter tomorrows for these children. Today I am asking you to consider making a difference for families who need it the most and make a donation to the David Foster Foundation by spending a penny and I promise, you will smile, as will the families you support and in the end, you will create fond memories for you and others. There are many ways you can spend a penny over the holidays and I encourage

The Danson family on their 4-acre farm. John's mother, 4th from the left is surrounded by her sons, including John in the centre, her daughters-in-law, husband and family dog.

you to learn more about the different ways detailed throughout this newsletter.


John Danson SVP, Fund Development

The Greatest Gift of All


his year, as in past years, we stood alongside families as they went through the ups and downs of transplant. We rejoiced when a child listed for transplant received the organ they had been waiting for. We admired the strength of families as they were forced to separate so their child could travel across the country for medical care. Our hearts ached to hear that a child had passed while they waited for the organ they needed so desperately. We stood alongside these families through the best and the worst times because the support of our donors and partners allows us to. Thank you very much for your support of the Foundation so that we can continue to be a steady support to families during the tumultuous transplant journey and all the unknowns it presents to families.

second greatest gift that life grants us—our loved ones. While transplant families support their children through difficult medical journeys, I encourage you to speak to your loved ones about organ donation as registering to be a donor could allow you to give the greatest gift of all—the gift of life.

The end of the year and the holiday season is a time to celebrate the

Michael Ravenhill and Aleea Dahinden visit Cruz and his son Kayden, who has since received a heart transplant, at Toronto SickKids Hospital.

May your holiday season be filled with merry and bright moments with your loved ones and your new year bring the same.


Aleea Dahinden Director of Family Relations

We stood alongside these families through the best and the worst times because the support of our donors and partners allows us to.



Jeremy participated in the Kidney Walk during his second month of peritoneal dialysis in the fall of 2017.


Within a couple of days Jeremy’s diagnosis was confirmed: Vasculitis GPA (Granulomatosis with polyangiitis), a rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the vascular system and tissues. It can progress rapidly and cause multiple organ failure. In Jeremy’s case, it caused kidney failure and his kidneys were severely damaged.

The doctors hoped that hemodialysis would allow Jeremy’s kidneys to rest and eventually, recover some function, but as time went on it became clear this was not the case. Talk began of getting him onto the kidney transplant list. Finally, in June, Jeremy was discharged from the hospital but still had to go to Vancouver four days a week for dialysis.

In addition to hemodialysis, Jeremy began other treatments. Seeing him hooked up to this equipment, lifesaving as it was, was like watching a procedure in Frankenstein’s laboratory—terrifying. Jeremy was incredibly stoic throughout all of the invasive and scary procedures he had to go through.

Somehow, we made it to moving day. Because of Jeremy’s medical needs, he and Tomy spent less than 48 hours in our new house on Vancouver Island before they had to return to Vancouver for three weeks.


Winter 2019

Once they finally made it home, Jeremy started his new life on the Island. Even though the initial crisis

was over, to say the following year was rough is an understatement. Just because a teenager has a chronic health condition, it doesn’t make them any less of a teenager, with the same overpowering instinct for rebellion and independence. The doctors wanted Jeremy to be as responsible as possible with managing his health; therefore, we had scares: a couple of “medication vacations” and some fictional blood pressure readings, which led to incorrect dosing. The stress and worry of having a sick child is something that parents often bottle up, because they have to push on and be strong for their families. Frequent trips to Vancouver for Jeremy’s checkups made it hard for Tomy to find steady work here, and


The stress and worry of having a sick child is something that parents often bottle up, because they have to push on and be strong for their families. Kelly McQuillan, Jeremy's step-mom Tomy, little brother, Rowan and Jeremy hamming it up.

I was juggling caring for our toddler with establishing my piano teaching business, so finances were also becoming a concern. When Jeremy’s disease was in remission for one year, he was placed on the kidney transplant list. We had many generous family members and friends offer to get tested to see if they were a match, but Jeremy did not feel comfortable accepting a kidney from a live donor. Surprisingly, he wasn’t on the list for long when we got “the call” to come to Vancouver. Jeremy received his kidney in July 2018. We are forever grateful to his donor and their family for this amazing gift that gave Jeremy his life back. Also, to the incredible team at

Jeremy received an iPad during his hemodialysis that a colleague of Tomy’s organized through a GoFundMe campaign.

Vancouver Children’s Hospital who have given Jeremy excellent care and continue to support and monitor him until he is transferred to the adult system. After the transplant there were many trips back and forth to Vancouver for the first several months. The David Foster Foundation generously helped us cover a lot of costs during this time. Knowing that we could pay our bills went a long way to easing our minds so that we could be fully present for Jeremy as he recovered.

We are immensely grateful to the David Foster Foundation and all of the wonderful charities that have helped us out along this journey. Jeremy is now over one-year post-transplant and enjoying life a lot more. He’s in grade 12 and thinking ahead to what he’d like to do after school: maybe psychology, maybe voice-over acting. He now has a world of choices, thanks to modern medicine and a lot of truly amazing people.

A Simply Spectacular Experience on Vancouver Island at the Villa Eyrie Resort

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WestJet fu ndra golf tournam ising ent


Winter 2019

hee d Katharine McP David Foster an get married!

Photo credit: Vito Amati

Split rt Shark/Banana Photo credit: Robe

Toronto Blue Jays game with WestJet

Prese worke nting to tra rs at B n C Chil splant social dren’s Hospit al

Photo cre dit: Kevin Cosgrov e

s Concour r Island ake School e v u o c n The Va t Shawnigan L ce a d'Elegan

Photo credit: Kevin Cosgrove

An Exciting Year in Review

The Audia family sharing Rosie's heart transplant story with David Foster in Toronto,ON


The Founda ti Internation on participated in th Association al Pediatric Transplan e conference in Vancouve t r,BC

Vito Photo credit:

David Foster and Katharine McPhee Foster take the stage for the first time as husband and wife!

Amati Vito Photo credit:

Excitement at th Motorsport e Vancouver Island Circu supporters it with our and donors

Grateful fo and their r the GAIN Group su Simply Sp pport during the ectacular event

Photo credit: Kevin Cosgrove

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Photo cre dit: Kevin Cosgrove

David Foster met with Tanika Jacobs, double-lung transplant recipient, in Toronto,ON


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Photo credit: Vito Amati

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Highlights of

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The David Foster Foundation


Logan with WestJet pilots en route to BC Children's Hospital.

Helping Families Through the Gift of Flight


estJetters are known for giving back over the holidays. Viral videos are shared and their acts of kindness leave tears in the eyes of all viewers. This kindness is not limited to only the holidays, but is an ingrained characteristic of WestJet's culture. WestJet's giving spirit extends to the Foundation all year round as well, as they generously donate flight vouchers which are used to help transplant families travel across the country. Children in all stages of the transplant journey from being assessed for transplant, listed and waiting for transplant, recovering from transplant, and attending annual transplant follow-up appointments require frequent medical care at pediatric hospitals. This can mean a lot of travel Logan loves to fly and we always have a great experience with Westjet! Veronica Vandermeulen, Logan’s mom


Winter 2019

for families that live far from their transplant hospital. Our partnership with WestJet allows us to provide flights to families so that they can focus on caring for their loved ones without the added burden of financial worry.

The Foundation has provided many flights to Logan’s family, thanks to WestJet's generosity, so that he can attend follow-up appointments.

On December 16, 2018 Autumn received a double lung transplant. At the beginning of December, Autumn and her mother, Sabrina, flew with WestJet from their home in Vancouver to Toronto so that Autumn could attend a transplant followup appointment at SickKids. Autumn will need to attend annual follow-up appointments for the rest of her life. During the summer of 2014, Logan received a life-saving heart transplant. Logan is required to attend appointments at BC Children’s Hospital, which is 780km from his family’s home in Prince George.

WestJet Cares for Kids launched in 2007 and supports eight national charities that impact the health and well-being of children. Autumn with WestJet flight attendants at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

To make a difference in someone's life, you don't have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care enough and be there. Sabrina Carlson, Autumn’s mom

'Tis t he Season for Giving! There are many ways you can give back over the holidays


t’s the time of year when we show our appreciation and celebrate the true meaning of this season. It feels good to give! Fortunately, there are many ways you can give back this holiday season. You can make a difference and by giving back you will help families with children going through the life-saving organ transplant process.


Double Your Donation with RBC Rewards this December

For the month of December, RBC Rewards will generously match all points donated by members. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to double the impact of your giving! Over the holidays, donate your RBC Rewards points for a cash donation that is eligible for a tax receipt.

Learn more about all the ways to give at


Become an Organ Donor

Over the holidays, we encourage you to talk to your family and share your wishes to register as an organ donor. By becoming a registered organ donor, you may save a life someday. There is a chronic shortage of most organs needed for transplant in Canada and the United States. Organ and tissue donation provide each of us with a special opportunity to help others. Sharing your decision now will help your family to carry out your decision later. It is necessary for you to document your decision by completing your registration in your resident province or state.


You can make an online donation in memory of someone, in honour of someone, or as a general gift. The Foundation’s goal to create an endowment with the purpose of continuously supporting all Canadian families who have a child going through the life-saving organ transplant process. You can make a single donation or a financial commitment over multiple years.



Donate Online

Donate Aeroplan Miles

The donation of Aeroplan Miles is a unique way to provide a direct and immediate benefit to the David Foster Foundation. Miles are used for travel and accommodation for a family with a child going through the life-saving organ transplant process away from their home.

More than 4,500 Canadians and nearly 114,000 Americans are waiting for organ transplants, and too many of them are children.

The David Foster Foundation


LifeNote Concert Fundraiser

Congratulations Jim Treliving!

Photo credit: George Pimentel


he sweet sounds of music filled The Merc in the Old Town Temecula Community Theater in Southern California on October 26, 2019 for a fundraiser dedicated to the Foundation. One hundred young artists entertained the crowds throughout the day with impressive R&B, pop, rock, and musical theatre vocal performances as well as classical piano solos and beautiful string ensembles. In its sixth year, the annual LifeNote Concert was founded by Dr. Dan Friedlich to encourage youth to give back to their community by raising funds for local charities using their vocal and instrumental skills. The Foundation was deeply honoured to be the beneficiary of this year’s LifeNote Concert. Noted Dr. Friedlich, a neurosurgeon at Temescula Valley Neurosurgery by day and a singer-songwriter and pianist in his spare time, “Working with the David Foster Foundation was a perfect way to incorporate both of my passions and support a man who has personally brought so much inspiration and happiness to my life with his music, and to the world for that matter. What a hero to so many.” The event was generously sponsored by the Temescula Valley Neurosurgery, Microsoft, Southwest Healthcare Systems, and OneLegacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Los Angeles area. Throughout the day, OneLegacy ambassadors shared their heroic personal stories of receiving organ donation and attendees had the opportunity to register to become an organ donor. Dr. Friedlich is modest about his efforts, “We should all dedicate time in our lives to give back, to provide leadership through charitable work for others who are less fortunate.” We couldn't agree more and the Foundation is grateful to Dr. Friedlich, the sponsors, donors, and the budding musical artists who made this day possible.

The successful event raised $16,000 and increased awareness for organ donor registration while highlighting the value of giving back and encouraging youth in their musical pursuits.


Winter 2019

Canada Walk of Fame Business & Entrepreneurship 2019 Inductee


n November 23, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Jim Treliving was honoured by receiving a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame as the 2019 Business and Entrepreneurship Inductee. Jim was recognized alongside eight other individuals who were recognized for their outstanding skills, talent, and accomplishments. Canada’s Walk of Fame has celebrated 21 years of inspiring and recognizing excellence. Over time, there have been 180 stars inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Five Pillars of Excellence

Jim Treliving & David Foster in Toronto.

• Arts & Entertainment • Business & Entrepreneurship • Science & Technology • Philanthropy & Humanities • Sports & Athletics

Jim is a businessman, venture capitalist, and television personality on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Starting from a single restaurant franchise in 1968, Jim is the Chairman and owner of Boston Pizza International Inc. and has grown the business to be prevalent across North America. In addition to Jim's business endeavours, he is a dedicated philanthropist. Jim has been a board member of the Boston Pizza Foundation since 1990 and is an advisor to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. As an active board member of the David Foster Foundation, Jim is respected for his sound business acumen. The time, guidance, and expertise Jim shares through this role is ultimately priceless. We are perpetually grateful for everything Jim has done and given to the Foundation. David Foster, Michael and Cassandra Ravenhill and many other friends of the Foundation joined Jim and Sandi Treliving to celebrate this moment in making Canadian history.

Partner Spotlight: Oak Bay Beach Hotel



he Oak Bay Beach Hotel is a spectacular five-star boutique resort and a historical landmark nestled in the picturesque coastal community of Oak Bay located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Recognized as one of the top luxury resorts in the Pacific Northwest, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has consistently been ranked among the Top Luxury Hotels in Canada, Top Hotels in Canada, and Most Romantic Hotels in Canada by visitors on TripAdvisor. Over the last seven years, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and the Foundation have partnered in many initiatives to better their community. From serving as the Presenting Sponsor at the 2012 Miracle Gala & Concert to fundraising through its day-to-day activities, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has continued to go above and beyond to support transplant families. The David Foster Foundation Theatre opened its doors at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in 2013 and since inception, a portion of admissions goes to support children in need of life-saving organ transplants. Outside the theatre, a tribute wall boasts gold and platinum records, signed celebrity photos, and highlights all of the albums that David has left his mark on over his illustrious career. Oliver, also known as “Ollie Bear,” is the resident mascot and greeter at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. This adorable plush bear sporting a knitted sweater is made for sharing with the ones you love. Guests can purchase Oliver at the hotel or online and a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Foundation.

Life Legacy Members Jim & Sandi Treliving

Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation in Partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Callum holds "Ollie Bear." A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Foundation.

Through the past seven years of partnership, it is inspiring to see the direct impact that our contributions have made in assisting these families through their difficult times. We offer our continued commitment to the Foundation and their commendable dedication to spreading awareness and helping Canadian families in need.


Walter & Maria Schneider Jim Pattison

National Partners

Michelle Le Sage General Manager Oak Bay Beach Hotel The Foundation is grateful to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel for the years of commitment and dedication they have shown towards our cause and transplant families. Learn more about Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s rich history or book your intimate getaway to dine and unwind while you enjoy the stunning panoramic ocean views. Visit

Community Partners

David Foster by his tribute wall outside the David Foster Foundation Theatre in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria, BC, 2013.

The David Foster Foundation


Profile for David Foster Foundation

David Foster Foundation 2019 Winter Newsletter  

Read the brand new David Foster Foundation 2019 winter newsletter!

David Foster Foundation 2019 Winter Newsletter  

Read the brand new David Foster Foundation 2019 winter newsletter!

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