David Foster Foundation 2022 Winter Newsletter

Page 1

with his dad, Loyd, and his mom, Christine

Calvin’s Transplant Story

A transplant story through the eyes of a mother:



Just over four years ago, our world turned upside down the Saturday before Thanksgiving. My husband and I rushed our son to the Alberta Children’s Hospital as he had been sick on and off for two weeks with a cough and after numerous visits to clinics his condition had gotten worse. Five minutes into the ACH emergency triage the trauma team was called and we knew something serious was going on. Numerous blood tests were done and the fear of the unknown finally came to a halt when we were advised that our precious son’s kidneys were failing and he would need to be put on dialysis. That feeling of wanting to pause the moment and digest everything is so real. So many questions came crashing into our minds, the biggest of which was “why?”. We were scared to death, but we knew we had to remain strong. The only words that I could manage formed a question, will my son still live? We were assured that they would do everything to keep him alive and do the best they can. We were rushed to the ICU, I was hugging my son telling him that he was a strong brave boy and he would make it through. He was later diagnosed with Infantile Nephronophthisis, a rare genetic condition which can cause childhood kidney failure and was put on peritoneal dialysis. The Alberta Children’s Hospital was our home for almost two months.

Photo credit: Flytographer
Journey 4 Continued Celebrating with Oak Bay Beach Hotel's 6 Oliver Bear A Story of Perserverance, Thanks 7 and Survival A Review of Spectacular 2022 8 Ways to Give 10 Thank You to All Our Partners 11 Organ Donation Facts 12 212 HENRY ST., VICTORIA, BC V9A 3H9 OFFICE: 250.475.1223 FAX: 250.475.1193 TOLL FREE: 1.877.777.7675 DAVIDFOSTERFOUNDATION.COM CELEBRATE the Gift of Life
WINTER 2022 | VOLUME 39 Calvin's Transplant Story 1 Message from the Chairman
Message from the CEO
Message from the SVP, 3 Fund Development Message from the Director
of Family Relations Calvin's Transplant

Thank You For Your Support

Message from the Chairman

Another year has come to an end, and I always enjoy reflecting on the year that has past and what we have accomplished together. We would not be where we are today without you! I am incredibly grateful for our supportive donors, event sponsors, partners, staff, and volunteers who were part of "A Night on Broadway" in Toronto, ON raising a recording-breaking $11.2 million for the families we support.

The generosity of our Life Legacy Members, National Partners, and Community Partners is the very reason we have become a catalyst in support during the transplant process. This time of year, I encourage people to embrace the spirit of giving which can be done in so many different ways. The greatest gift you can give is the gift of life through organ donation. Speak to your loved ones this holiday

season about planning to become a registered organ donor. To learn more about different ways you can give back this holiday season, please visit page 10

Thank you to everyone for making 2022 memorable and one of our best years yet. I am looking forward to what 2023 brings.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


We Made A Difference

Message from the Chief Executive Office

Well, to say 2022 was a year to remember would be putting it lightly! I am extremely proud of our small but mighty team who managed so brilliantly throughout the ongoing changes and the ever-changing environment the pandemic placed on us all. Earlier this year, our team and volunteers pulled off an extraordinary event after a two-year hiatus! "A Night on Broadway" brought the brightest talent to Hotel X in Toronto, ON and raised an astounding $11.2 MILLION for the families that the Foundation supports. The success of the event would not have been possible without the support of our generous donors.

This year also brought a new milestone. As of October, the Foundation has now

assisted over 1,400 Canadian families through their transplant journeys. The hard work we are doing today is to ensure that transplant families will always have a place to turn to for financial assistance for generations to come.

The word THANK YOU just doesn’t seem adequate enough. However, please know that on behalf of our children and families, David and myself, our board of directors and our hardworking staff, WE are SINCERELY GRATEFUL to YOU for your support, hard work, and dedication to our Foundation this past year.

As we come together with family and friends this holiday season, may we be reminded of how blessed we all are to be able to do just that… be together.

Because of YOU, we are making a difference in the lives of many children today, we are keeping families together, and we are providing hope for families for tomorrow and generations to come

From our family to yours… we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Chief Executive Officer

David Foster Foundation

Honourary Colonel Canadian Armed Forces

410 Tactical Fighter Squadron

2 Winter 2022
HCol Michael Ravenhill
Don’t miss "CHRISTMAS SONGS" by David Foster and Katharine
to access on all streaming platforms

We Simply Could Not Do It Without You!

Message from SVP,

Fund Development

As 2022 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for making such an incredible impact on our families and children. Without your support, we would not have been able to support virtually every family who was going through a life-saving pediatric organ transplant process and requiring financial support from the David Foster Foundation.

Without your support, we would not have been able to keep families “together” during their incalculably challenging times. The numbers are staggering. Before the Foundation’s support, approximately 85% of the families going through the challenging transplant process, were divorced and/ or bankrupt. Under the circumstances, it just wasn’t fair. .

Every few months, especially when I haven’t been able to visit some of our families in the hospital, I watch videos of families we have assisted. For some

Reflecting on 2022

of these families who we continue to assist, no matter how many times I watch the videos, every time I have the same reaction; tears and a smile. When I no longer cry and smile, I’ll know it's time for me to retire.

Now that 2022 comes to a conclusion and 2023 is moments ahead, I urge you to join me in revisiting the David Foster Foundation’s website featuring family stories. Certainly the most meaningful and infectious part for me is watching Piper’s, Coen’s, Evanne’s, and Rosie’s family videos. CLICK HERE to view.

Until we meet again in the New Year, all the best for a healthy and happy 2023.

With sincere regards,

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

Message from Director of Family Relations

Another year has come and almost gone. We still have a few weeks of crisp (a polite way of saying cold) Canadian winter days to enjoy before December 31st marks the end of 2022. A new year prompts most to reflect upon what the past twelve months have brought. I would like to share some of my Foundation highlights:

1 From January to November 2022, 28 children received the life-saving organ transplants they so desperately needed. That means 28 families will be able to ring in the New Year without wondering whether their child will be called for transplant that evening, or the next month, or if they ever will.

2. The Foundation’s "A Night on Broadway" in Toronto in May was memorable for

two reasons. Firstly, the Foundation had the pleasure of hosting the Audia, Chen and Thomson families at the event. Connecting with transplant families in person is incredibly inspiring and one of my favourite parts of my job. Secondly, the generosity of the Foundation’s donors and partners was unparalleled at this incredibly successful event where 11.2 million was raised in support of families whose children require organ transplants.

3 . The Foundation partnered with Flytographer to provide photoshoots to six transplant families across Canada. These photos can now serve to commemorate an important time in these families' lives and be enjoyed for years to come.

Two-time heart transplant recipient, Evanne, celebrates a milestone! Read more on page 7.

These are only three of the many memorable moments I have experienced over the last year. I am incredibly thankful that my role at the Foundation allows me to connect with such incredible families across the country and also know the generosity with which our donors and partners give.

This holiday season, I hope that your reflections on the last year bring happy memories and that you are able to enjoy the last few “crisp” days of 2022.

Sincerely, Aleea Dahinden Director of Family Relations

The David Foster Foundation

Calvin was on peritoneal dialysis for twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for three years. Our life at home was so hectic, hooking him up to the machine at 7PM and unhooking him at 7AM. By 8AM, we were on our way to drop Calvin off at a daycare as both myself and my husband worked full-time. We learned and adapted to our new way of life with so much appreciation for simple things that we often took for granted. We did our best every day to let Calvin experience a normal childhood (with a twist as we told him). We took him on hikes and overnight trips bringing along our machine! We had countless clinic visits, blood workups, and several emergency trips throughout the three years on peritoneal dialysis at home.

On August 22, 2020, another turning point came in our new dialysis life when were admitted to the ICU. Calvin’s peritoneal fluid leaked into the pleural space. He was having difficulty breathing with water getting into his lungs and his dialysis treatment was switched to a Hemo Dialysis. He attended four treatments a week for four hours at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Tough as it seemed we welcomed this change in a positive way as a reset in that Calvin got to enjoy home time without being hooked up to the machine. We were so blessed to have a supportive work family who helped us juggle work and Calvin’s treatments. Calvin had grown to be very independent at the age of four as he managed to get himself ready for treatment as I continued to work from home.

There was never a day that our son did not look forward to going in for his Hemo treatments and clinic visits. This is a true testament to the quality of care he was getting. Though it was unfortunate that he had to go to the hospital so often he felt, and still feels, the love and developed so many friendships.

On October 2020, Calvin got put on the transplant list and our hope kept growing! Months passed and we kept praying for a miracle. In December 2020, Calvin’s very special friend Allisson at the Alberta Children’s Hospital approached me and asked for details on how to become a donor. After going through the process, she found out that she was not a match for Calvin. She was provided with another option: the Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) Program. Kidney Paired Donation is a program that matches transplant candidates with suitable living donors. It gives people the chance to become a living kidney donors while ensuring that someone they want to help receives a needed kidney, even if they are not a direct match. After over a year of the tedious transplant process, the special day finally came on January 25, 2022. Calvin had his life-saving kidney transplant. We are forever grateful to our anonymous donor and Calvin’s special friend, Auntie Allisson. You are both our Angels in disguise and our testament that miracles happen. Your bravery and kindness are selfless acts that will forever have a life-changing impact on our son and you are an inspiration to so many.

Above: Calvin's third day post transplant in the ICU. Below: Calvin with his Auntie Allisson, an angel in disguise. Photo credit: Flytographer

Post-transplant was a challenging time for our family emotionally and financially. Our social worker let our family know about the David Foster Foundation as we were getting closer to the transplant date. Both myself and my husband took a leave from work so we could focus on Calvin’s recovery. We were so blessed and lucky to have this opportunity to focus our time solely on providing care to Calvin months post-transplant with big help from David Foster Foundation. The Foundation supported our family with our house bills and groceries. These are times that Calvin needed us the most and we look back with grateful hearts that we were able to have this time thanks to all the patrons that support the David Foster Foundation.

Calvin’s kidney transplant was a success but as to be expected there are hiccups along the way. Just less than a month post-transplant we were admitted back to the hospital as his creatinine was going up. However, we were discharged after 2 weeks and have been home since and he is recovering well.

Calvin finally gets to enjoy the things that he missed through the years growing up. I remember the first thing he did when he was ready to be in the water was soaking in the bathtub and play in the sprinkler! He no longer must worry about his PD and Hemo line. Recently, we went camping and slept outside without having to worry about bringing the dialysis machine or driving back the next day for his treatment. Today, we still visit the hospital weekly for blood work and for Uroflowmetry tests due to his bladder issues. We are still on numerous medications daily including his anti-rejection medication, which he will be on for his entire life.

Calvin is an inspiration to us his parents; we draw strength from his contagious joy and zest for life. He loves to joke around, do his funny dance moves and sing with his guitar. He is a fearless 5-year-old boy who is adventurous and loves to try and learn new things! Sometimes I hold him back from doing too much movement or too many activities and he answers me with conviction, “I can do this, I am brave.” The same words I spoke when we were being rolled into the ICU years ago.

Looking back, we don’t know how we managed. There were days driving to treatments that we felt the road was never ending and the tears we couldn’t hold back came but we just kept going. Hope is the only thing we hold on to. With God’s grace, support from our families who have been there since day one, prayers from friends and strangers and people we haven’t met but who prayed and continue to pray for us, we keep going. The journey ahead is still a rollercoaster but with God’s grace, we remain grateful. Every day is a gift.

Above: Calvin days before switching from PD to Hemo dialysis. Below: Post transplant recovery.

Celebrating with Oak Bay Beach Hotel's Oliver Bear

This holiday season, the David Foster Foundation and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel partnered up to spread cheer through a little sweater wearing friend. Oliver Bear, or Ollie for short, is the official ambassador of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Ollie Bear was gifted to multiple transplant families across Canada and has made many new friends who adore him.

Thank you Oak Bay Beach Hotel for spreading smiles and joy this holiday season.

Kidney transplant recipient, Karsten, and his sister, Evelyn.

Bella, who is still waiting for a bowel transplant.

Kidney transplant recipient, Markus, who had his transplant November 1st, 2021.

Transplant recipient, Kate, and her brother, Brayden.

Liver transplant recipient, Winnie. who had her transplant on April 7th, 2022.

Heart transplant recipient, Josiah, and his brother, Emmett.

Heart transplant recipient, Kane, who received his transplant in October 2022.

6 Winter 2022

A Story of Perseverance, Thanks and Survival

Most parents wish the world for their children on their birthday. But what if you were to instead wish for their survival? The David Foster Foundation shares a unique, heartfelt story of Evanne, a two-time heart transplant recipient who has overcome adversity to celebrate a major life milestone.

“We thank the David Foster Foundation from the bottom of all of our hearts,” said Evanne’s mother, Tamara. “Every minute I had and continue to have with Evanne I owe to the David Foster Foundation, plain and simple.”

Imagine over 4,000 blood tests, over 24 biopsies, and 2 heart transplants – all overcome by 1 inspirational child. To get an idea of what Evanne had to endure: it was during the Spring of 2004 that Evanne’s mom, Tamara, was informed by her doctor that an ultrasound showed the baby had three very rare heart conditions and would need a heart transplant as soon as she was born. After being rushed to BC Women’s Hospital to meet with top doctors, the best course of action was to conduct a heart transplant. From there, Tamara was sent to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to have the baby assessed by their top doctors.

It was during this time that Tamara was introduced to the Foundation. Tamara was familiar with David Foster, but not the Foundation and soon discovered that what the Foundation did was nothing short of a miracle. The Foundation provided funding for transportation, accommodations, groceries, car payments, rent and other essential non-medical expenses pre-, during and post-operation.

After deliberating between two Toronto hospitals, a birthing plan was made. By the evening of October 1, 2004, Tamara was off to the hospital and at 2:33pm on October 2, 2004, Evanne Rae Fisher was born. Sadly, Evanne had to be immediately taken to another hospital to be tested and put on IV, and eventually intubated. Evanne was holding on, but it was a struggle!

After 4 weeks, the doctors decided to try a very risky, very rare open heart transplant surgery to try and keep Evanne alive longer in the hopes a heart would finally become available. After several worrisome hours, the surgery was complete, however they struggled to get Evanne stable. Evanne was sick and struggling hard.

Miraculously, Evanne battled on; she became stable and turned the corner. Then on November 9, 2004, the call came in that a transplant was available for Evanne. Everyone was excited that dreams were finally coming true. By the age of 7 years, Evanne had to again have a second heart transplant. This was another test for Evanne which she passed with flying colours!

Evanne celebrating her graduation milestone!

Today, Evanne is thriving and planning for her future. She is currently taking a gap year to travel and relax after she graduated with Honours. It is her goal to become a Child Life Specialist, as she wants to give back and help others after all her personal experiences.

“I remember when Evanne was born and how this tiny little baby fought for her life, and to have her turning 18 is so amazing. I remember watching her run her first cross-country race just 8 months after her second heart transplant,” said Hon. Col. Michael Ravenhill, Chief Executive Officer, David Foster Foundation. “Thinking how we have supported Evanne for her entire life and to see her going off to do great things is so moving – this is why we do what do at the Foundation. She inspires me, and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished.”

Several celebrities and supporters have already posted video messages to congratulate Evanne on achieving such a big milestone of graduating and turning 18.

‘What a big day this is for Evanne,’ added David Foster in a video message. “We are so proud of you and happy that we can be a part of your journey with such a magical outcome. We love you!”

Evanne waiting for her first heart transplant in 2004.

The David Foster Foundation

The David Foster Foundation

"A Night on Broadway" record-breaking $11.2 million raised. Thank you to all of our supporters and attendees for making this an unforgettable evening!

8 Fall Winter20222022
Hotel X Toronto was the amazing venue for the Foundation's incredibly successful fundraising event "A Night on Broadway". David Foster and Katharine McPhee Foster perform at the stunning Hotel X Toronto. Also in attendance was the talented Leslie Odom Jr., Loren Allred, Kara Lindsay, Erich Bergen, Tony Vincent and Jessica Vosk. The Audia, Chen, and Fischer families at "A Night on Broadway" fundraiser in Toronto. Belal, Rashan, Aliyah and Shaziya Weerasinghe in the WestJet box at a BlueJay's game in Toronto. Thank you to WestJet for allowing us to host transplant families at the game! Kyla and Bella Event Takeover in Toronto at "A Night on Broadway" fundraiser. Markus received a kidney transplant in November 2021 and attended a Calgary Roughneck’s lacrosse game through WestJet. Emmit and his dad, Ryan, at a gifted lacrosse game from WestJet. We can add more copy if needed. The Foundation welcomed Cam Tait as a feature writer. Each month, Cam releases a new article providing unique insights to very important topics worth a discussion.

A Review of Spectacular 2022

Stevie received a heart transplant on February 25th, 2022. Her family is happy to be back home in Manitoba after their extended stay in Edmonton while Stevie waited for and received her transplant in Edmonton.

Kolt received a heart transplant on June 1st, 2022. His 5 siblings are happy to have him back home to play with.

The David Foster Foundation would like to thank Flytographer for capturing precious moments of some of our Foundation transplant families.

All images on this page photographed courtesy of Flytographer.

For more info about Flytographer, visit www.flytographer.com.

Abbigail is holding her baby, Averii, who received a liver transplant on January 6th, 2022.

Summer of Smiles Campaign: Each week we featured a new smile from one of our brave transplant kids.

Nathaniel's aunt (left) donated a piece of her liver to Nathaniel on August 20th, 2020. The family is now able to enjoy time together.

Ben's father donated a piece of his liver to his son, Ben on January 10th, 2022. Both Ben and his dad have recovered well and are doing great!

The David Foster Foundation

Ways to Give…

Donate Online

You can make an online donation in memory of someone, in honour of someone, or as a general gift. The David Foster 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 make a financial commitment over multiple years.

To learn more about all the ways to give and to make a donation visit us at davidfosterfoundation.com.

Become an Organ Donor

s s s s

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.

Donate Aeroplan Miles

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

Donate Avion Reward Points

Avion Rewards can be redeemed and converted to a cash donation that is eligible for a tax receipt. This special partnership gives the Foundation much-needed funds to assist families and promote organ donor registration, without any cash leaving your pockets.

Together, we can a difference

Legacy Members


National Partners

Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation

Jim Pattison

Walter & Maria Schneider

Argyros Family Foundation

Cares for Kids

Community Partners

Jim & Sandi Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation in Partnership with Catalyst Capital Group Kyle MacDonald & John Franklin Joan & Paul Waechter The Anschutz Foundation

become an organ donor

Did you know…

• One donor can save up to eight lives.

• There are currently 4,100 Canadians waiting for an organ transplant.

• The oldest organ donor in Canada was over 90 years old.

• A single organ donor can improve the quality of life for up to 75 people.

• More than 90% of Canadians are in favour of organ donation, however, less than 32% of the population are registered organ donors.

• You are more likely to need a transplant than you are to become an organ donor.

davidfosterfoundation.com/be-an-organ donor
Go to
Be an Organ Donor
Photo credit: Flytographer
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.