Caring for KIDS Radiothon: Part Two

Alberta Children's Hospital

By Ashley Simpson, Marketing Coordinator

Last week Cedarglen participated in the Caring for KIDS Radiothon (read the blog HERE). This annual event helps support the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation in providing amenities to the children and families at the hospital. The hospital is home to 129 beds, almost all of which have a view of the mountains, the river valley, or Nose Hill Park. This is the hospital YOU built; it was designed around what kids want, and funded by local businesses and organizations.

On the final day of the Radiothon, Howard and I had the pleasure of touring the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH for short). We were met by Melissa, who is just amazing; she is the Senior Associate for Community Initiatives and Events, and she is wealth of knowledge. Melissa would be our tour guide, so without any time to waste, we set off.

First we stopped at a space where the foundation recognizes its younger donors. Melissa explained that many kids are skipping birthday gifts and instead opting to have donations collected for the hospital instead. They also organize their own swim-a-thons, bike-a-thons, head shaving events, and anything else you can think of. These kids really know the meaning of selflessness.

From here we went on to the fourth floor, home to the Eating Disorder Clinic, Art Therapy Room, and the Kinsmen Learning Centre. To me, the highlight of this floor was the theatre, which is used for “movie night”. There is lots of seating available, as well as room for wheelchairs and stretchers so anyone staying in the hospital is able to come in and watch a movie with friends and family. And of course, the theatre wouldn’t be complete without a popcorn machine.

Next we passed a space being constructed for the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which will allow for newborns to stay at the hospital while they are being treated.

We moved to the second floor, where Melissa showed us the family accommodations. Families do not always know the length of their stay upon arrival at the ACH.  There are suites available for families to stay in, completed with beds and an ensuite bathroom. Close by this area is another one of my favorite spots on the tour. The Sacred Space is a prayer and meditation room available for patients, families, and staff. When the area was being designed, more than 17 different faith groups were consulted to ensure the space was respectful of all faiths. One wall in the space features beautiful stained glass windows that open up to a stunning view of the mountains. This area is so peaceful and serene compared to the stress going on outside its walls.

The lower level was the next stop on our tour. Melissa took us past a room they call the “workshop”, where prosthesis, braces, and orthotics are made. From here, we went to the Dr. Gordon Townsend School for children that need to spend extensive time in the hospital or require rehabilitation. Close by is the Pet Room. This room is specially designed so kids can visit their family pets while in hospital. Melissa explained the room is even big enough to fit a horse, although they haven’t had one come in for a visit yet.

We wrapped up the tour on the main floor. We stopped at the Donor Wall to admire the hundreds of businesses that have helped to raise millions of dollars for the ACH. The foundation keeps a running total for you, so I hope Cedarglen can make it up there sometime in the future.

Finally…the Radiothon results! The Radiothon, set up in the lobby of the hospital, was buzzing with activity, cameras, and radio personnel when we arrived. As we took it all in, a mother was being interviewed about her young son, who was born with nearly no muscle. He had only left his room 10 times, and looked to be at least 2 years old. Melissa explained to me the ventilation system he was hooked up to must be new (funded by generous sponsors like you!) as he usually was travelling with an entourage of machines and hospital staff. Just behind this boy and his mother, there were tables of volunteers answering the phones. Because of the generosity of Calgarians, Albertans, and Canadians, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation was able to raise $1.82 Million and the total is still rising! Thank you to everyone who took the time to call in and make a donation, it means so much to these families. Also a special thank you to Melissa, your efforts and hard work leave me speechless. I cannot wait to give Cedarglen’s total donation number at the end of February, make sure to check back!

Questions or comments? Let me know below!

– Ashley

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