In 2006, 9-year old Sarah LeMay asked the Healing Cycle Foundation if money raised by children at our event could be given to children who require palliative care. Her question lead to the creation of a team of children raising money for other children. Sarah agreed to captain a Kids4Kids Team, knowing that 100% of the money her team raised would go to helping children who need hospice palliative care.
Through our Kids4Kids program we funded a Pediatric Palliative Care Facilitator position at the Credit Valley Hospital for three years. This individual assists families once it becomes clear that their child no longer has curative treatment options at the Hospital for Sick Kids and the family wants to bring their child home. The Facilitator helps establish contact with local pediatricians and palliative care doctors and also bridges the gap between community services, Credit Valley Hospital and multidisciplinary team members. The Facilitator communicates a plan of care regarding complications, pain management and end of life.
The Kids4Kids Team is now captained by eleven-year old Grace Capuano and is currently raising funds for Emily's House, a new pediatric hospice in Toronto - one of only six in Canada.
Emily's House provides a family-centered, safe, professional home-like environment with 10 pediatric palliative and respite care beds. Emily's House programs includes:
Respite care for family caregivers - designed to provide family caregivers time for their own rest, renewal and time for other siblings.
Acute end of life care - provide families with resources and support allowing them to focus on making the most of their final days with their children.
Pain and symptom management - relieve pain related issues.
Transitional care - provide support / education for families to ensure they are skilled and comfortable to care for their child at home.
Spiritual, grief and bereavement support - provide counseling services to families along the trajectory of illness through to bereavement.
Pediatric palliative and respite care is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by professional staff who are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of children, youth and their families living with life-limiting illnesses. Staff are an interdisciplinary team, incorporating a diverse group of healthcare professionals, support staff and volunteers, all specialized in pediatric care.
Emily's House offers a place where life is celebrated and lived to the fullest and every moment becomes a precious memory for the family. Whether life is measured in days, weeks, months or even years, children living with a life-limiting diagnosis deserve the opportunity to learn, play, develop and grow….to be just kids, in a comfortable, child-friendly setting, with personalized family centered programs.