Fall 2011 Volume 4
CELEBR ATE The Gift of Life
Mason’s Story – by his dad, Bob Lahde
y son Mason came into the world in September of 2003. It was and still is the high-point of my life. Being a first- time parent, I knew very little about babies, but I remember knowing from the first week of his life that something wasn’t quite right. He wasn’t gaining weight and didn’t want to eat. Doctors, neighbours and relatives all said to be patient, that sometimes babies are fussy and that he would come around. I had no idea how badly my boy was suffering. Kidney transplant recipient, Mason and his dad, Bob Lahde.
WHAT’S INSIDE Mason’s Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mini notebooks help transplant children stay occupied . . . . . .
Miracles Happen for David Foster Foundation . . . . . Camaro giveaway . . . . . . . . . . . . Donation form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Follow us on:
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After 5 weeks of being patient, we took Mason down to emergency and demanded answers. He looked terrible and would only sleep for an hour at a time. After a long day of tests, the doctor came in and sadly reported that he had looked at Mason’s ultrasound and couldn’t find his kidneys. He said that Mason had to get to a children’s hospital right away, but I didn’t hear much hope in his voice. Less than 24 hours later, the incredible staff at Sickkids in Toronto was saying that he was a very sick little boy, but with the proper care he would pull through. True to their word, the doctors had us home in a few weeks. Mason had one underdeveloped kidney still functioning and the doctors were determined to make it last as long as possible. Thus began the first of dozens of visits to Toronto. The trip is a long and sometimes dangerous journey by car from our home in northern Ontario and flights to Toronto cost a fortune. We managed for the first few years, but continued on page 2
when Mason’s kidney finally gave out the expenses really started to build. A lengthy stay in Toronto with food and hotel bills combined with not receiving a pay check for a month made a difficult situation 10 times worse. As Mason was being added to the transplant list, we were referred to the David Foster Foundation for help. Like most Canadians I knew a lot about the musician but not his charity work. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support and concern. Six months and one false alarm later, Mason’s transplant finally happened and the Foundation was there to help. Mason and I lived in downtown Toronto for 3 months to be close to the hospital. They helped with food, travel and living expenses. I was off work all that time and without the Foundation’s help I couldn’t have made it.
“Mason’s transplant finally happened and the Foundation was there to help.” It’s been over three years now since the transplant and Mason is a happy, healthy 7 year old. He gets excellent marks in school. He plays basketball and soccer and is working on his orange belt in hap ki do. Mason still visits Sickkids every 3 months for a checkup. With the Foundation’s continued support, Mason has access to the best possible care in the world. We would like to thank David Foster and the staff at the Foundation, for making stressful times a whole lot easier to manage. Bob is a single dad who does his utmost to look after his little boy. He and Mason still live in the Northern Ontario area.
Mini notebooks help transplant children stay occupied
ost children who receive organ transplants spend countless hours in hospital beds or treatment rooms, often with not much to do other than think about their illness. Through the generosity of HP and an anonymous donor, 42 mini notebook computers were donated to the David Foster Foundation for distribution to our children undergoing organ transplant. The mini notebooks came in a variety of colours and are internet friendly. One of the children receiving this gift was Sampson Avelar (pictured below, Sampson to the right in the green shirt with DFF Board member Dr. Anne Dipchand presenting the computer. Sampson’s sister Alexis looks on). The 12 year old chose a black version of the mini notebook “because that’s the coolest colour”.
His mother, Katherine, was ecstatic for her son who has been in and out of hospital while he waits for a double lung transplant. “Sampson absolutely loves his new laptop because it helps him do something other than worry about his transplant. And the assistance with my mortgage is such a great help. I can’t even tell you all how blessed we feel to live in this beautiful country, where we have access to health care, and where there are foundations such as The David Foster Foundation. Thank you ALL so much for your kindness and generosity.”
Left to right clockwise: Dr. Anne Dipchand, Alexis, and Sampson with his black HP mini notebook.
2 year old Chace Campsall and his Mom and Dad were guest speakers at the DFF Annual General Meeting. Little Chace received his HP Mini Notebook from the Foundation. He liked the blue one!
More stories to follow in future newsletters about our transplant children and their mini notebooks! Thank you to HP and our anonymous donors!
Miracles Happen for David Foster Foundation
he Walker Family, owners of the soon to be reborn Oak Bay Beach Hotel, announced a $2 million gift for the David Foster Foundation, and the naming of the hotel’s famed dinner theater in honour of the foundation last month.
“When we reopen next May, our guests will be introduced to the David Foster Foundation Theatre, paying homage to the philanthropic work of David Foster, a local boy who never forgot the importance of giving back as his own star rose,” said Kevin Walker. “We are absolutely elated by this commitment from Kevin and Shawna Walker at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. They are such outstanding citizens and we feel so fortunate to know that their support will help so many families across Canada and help us spread the word about organ donation registration and awareness in Canada and the United States,” said David Foster, who was on hand for the media launch. On Saturday, May 26, 2012, Foster will bring back to his hometown his popular Hitman Show to the city’s Save on Foods Memorial Arena for an unbelievable Miracle Concert – held in conjunction with a star studded David Foster Foundation gala grand opening weekend package at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, May 25-27, 2012.
For more information about the gala weekend, people may visit www.oakbaybeachhotel.com or the gala event website at www.davidfostermiracleconcert.com or call 1-800-668-7758. 1. Pictured left to right: Anthony Herman, Chace Campsall (heart transplant recipient), Christa Campsall, David Foster, Jamie Cormier, Kathy Cormier. 2. DFF CEO Mike Ravenhill greets Hothouse marketing owner Dan Dagg at the top of the red carpet at the construction site of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. 3. DFF Event coordinator Murray Thomas is ready to hang one of the baskets donated to the media launch by the City of Victoria and District of Oak Bay. 4. David Foster and OBBH sales and marketing coordinator Kyla Hewlett unveil the pictorial rendering of the new David Foster Foundation theatre.
5. David with owners of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Kevin and Shawna Walker.
David Foster Foundation Newsletter
Pictured here (left to right) are DFF CEO Mike Ravenhill, heart transplant recipient Dick Kelly and car winner Kelly Nyberg of Sioux Fall, South Dakota.
elly Nyberg, a 24 year old native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the winner of the 4 month long David Foster Foundation Official Pace Car giveaway contest that started in Long Beach, California and ended at the Indianapolis 500. The Foundation put together a truck and trailer road show to travel the country promoting the contest as well as educating and encouraging Americans to make the decision to become registered organ donors in their own State and/or make a donation either by text message or online. “I can’t believe I won! I will certainly enjoy this Camaro & absolutely cannot wait to drive it! Thanks so much for this fantastic opportunity, I feel so lucky!” said the diminutive brunette who now works and lives in Los Angeles. The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500 and the seventh Camaro. Adding to the rich heritage is the fact that 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500, as well as the centennial year of Chevrolet.
“Our experience during this 4 month campaign in the United States was amazing. We were able to provide education about the importance of organ donor registration and we heard such great stories from people whose lives were touched by organ donation and transplant. If we’ve saved even one life through this endeavour, we feel like we’ve made a difference,” said David Foster Foundation CEO, Mike Ravenhill. This special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible served as the official pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 & was one of only 50 official pace cars. Earlier this year, one of those Camaros was gifted by Chevrolet and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the Foundation and auctioned off at the Barrett Jackson Auction with the full proceeds of $225,000 going to the David Foster Foundation.
David Foster Foundation Donation Form Thank you for supporting children and their families receiving life-saving organ transplants. Donations can be mailed to: David Foster Foundation, 212 Henry Street, Victoria, BC V9A 3H9 CANADA
M Make a Personal Donation Title:________ First Name:_________________________ Last Name:_________________________
(e.g. Mr, Mrs, Dr)
M Make Donation on behalf of an Organization Name of Organization:______________________________________________ Address:_ _____________________________________________________________ City/Town:_________________________________ Province/State:___________________________ Postal/Zip Code:_______________________ Country:________________________ Phone: (________) _____________ Ext_ ______ E-mail Address:___________________________________________________________
M I give permission for the David Foster Foundation to contact me via e-mail with information about how I can support
children receiving life saving organ transplants.
Additional Comments:_ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Amount: $_______________ Currency:_ ______________ M One Time Credit Card Payment M Recurring Monthly Payment Credit Card Type: M VISA M MC M AMEX Credit Card #:_________________________________________________________ Card Security #:___________ Card Holder’s Name:______________________________________ Expiry Date (MM/YY):_________ I would like to make a donation in memory/honour of:________________________________________________________________
M Please notify the next of kin that a donation has been made. M I would like to keep my gift private. Canadian Charitable Business No. 10700 4210 RR0001. US Federal ID No. 81-0581479. Tax receipts will be issued upon receipt of donation. Donations can also be made online at www.davidfosterfoundation.com