Splash & Dash is an immensely popular fundraising event for children, their families and volunteers Sarah’s Fund for Cedars and Splash & Dash Atie Waxman September 18, 2022 573 Raising funds for the best care and to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients on Sarah’s Floor at the MUHC Sarah started receiving treatment forEwing’s Sarcoma when she was aninquisitive 8-year old Sarah’s Fund for Cedars and Splash & Dash are 21 years old. The fund started because an inquisitive 8-year old named Sarah Cook was battling Ewing’s Sarcoma and realized that her pillow at home was softer and more comfortable than what they had at the hospital. She was determined to make life a bit easier for the other children on the floor by buying new pillows. Sarah’s mother, Lorena, tells a story about how the Fund began, and how it grew. It all started with a redefinition of “family.” Lorena regularly cooked and baked for Sarah and their family during Sarah’s 3 to 6 night stays every three weeks at the Children’s. Then she started cooking for more people. And then other parents started cooking and baking for the Cooks. But, as Lorena and Sarah put it, “there are only so many brownies and containers of food you can put into the freezer,” so they asked if people would donate to the Fund instead. “Splash & Dash is the signature fundraising event for Sarah’s Fund, raising $3 million since 2001 to support multiple programs for young cancer patients during a difficult and scary time in their lives.” The Fund has grown exponentially and continues to support the efforts of the professionals who make a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of children and their families every year. It supports the pressing needs of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Division at the Children’s by providing the best care to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients on Sarah’s Floor. Thanks to the enthusiastic giving of our Montreal community, individuals, corporations and through events such as Splash & Dash, the fund has raised over $13 million. Sarah Cook and her family started raising money for pillows when she was 8, and to date Sarah’s Fund has raised $13 million for various programs at The Children’s As the Cooks bonded with the staff and other families, their family unit grew. Cancer treatment is a journey, and the Cooks have always maintained everything is about the children and their families – and making their lives better and easier. When Sarah was in treatment, she used to say, “Just tell me what I need to do today.” It was about the here and now – and living in the moment made sense. But as an adult, Sarah, her sisters, and her parents decided that they had to make sure that every other child’s “now” was looked after. So the Fund renovated the entire ward at the old Children’s, including a kitchen and family room, and created a place where “hospital” became a place where young patients could feel a sense of home, together with their families and their “second” families. Splash & Dash is the signature fundraising event for Sarah’s Fund. Since its inception in 2001, it has raised over $3 million dollars to support multiple programs that have had a profound impact on young cancer patients during a difficult and scary time in their lives. It’s a fun-filled, family-oriented activity that traditionally sees teams of three take part in a non-competitive swim, run, walk relay – hence it’s name! This year, the event is back live, in person – albeit with a slight twist to ensure the safety of patients, staff, participants, and volunteers. It will consist of a run, walk, bike relay, entirely outdoors, in and around Town of Mount Royal’s beautiful Danyluk Park. The highlight of Splash & Dash is always the “Heroes & Celebrity Walk/Run”, when kids being treated on Sarah’s ward participate in their very own, special race alongside local celebrities. The goal this year is to raise $300,000, which will go toward patient care as well as programs like pet therapy, music therapy, nurse education, and so many other things that help kids feel like kids. “Many young patients on the cusp of adulthood often require different needs than the young children being treated at the Children’s, but also these patients need different care than what is offered at the adult site.” – Sarah Cook Sarah writes, “Not only do we want to raise enough funds to continue the programs offered, but we want create a program to help bridge the gap for our young adult cancer patients. Many young patients on the cusp of adulthood often require different needs than the young children being treated at the Children’s, but also these patients need different care than what is offered at the adult site. Having relapsed myself as a young adult, my needs when I was eight were extremely different than when I was 18… not only my medical needs, but my emotional needs as well. To be able to build this program to allow for these young patients to be treated and heard has been a dream of mine and my family’s for quite some time and with this year’s 21st Anniversary we are finally able to reach for that dream.” Please visit splashanddash.ca to learn more about, and to donate to Splash & Dash and Sarah’s Fund for Cedars. Related
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