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A meaningful Valentine’s Day gift

by Nicole Bloomberg, MBA
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A box of chocolates? Usually gone by the time you can say “I’ll just have one…”

Flowers? Already wilting as you’re leaving the florist.

Teddy Bear? Basically a glorified dust collector.

This Valentine’s Day, why not give a gift that will keep on giving? The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto offers a symbolic gift giving program, Get Better Gifts, which helps fund the hospital’s highest priority needs. Buying a SickKids Get Better Gift will spread three times the happiness: some for you, some for your Valentine and, most importantly, some for the patients at SickKids – patients like Liam.

In his short life, Liam has undergone three open-heart surgeries at SickKids and may need another in the future. He was diagnosed with a severe heart condition, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), where the left side of his heart is significantly smaller than the right. Although his heart is small in size, some would say only half the size of a typical heart, you would never guess by Liam’s lovable nature.

Over the last three and a half years, Liam has become familiar with SickKids and has learned a lot about his condition by playing doctor. He has the support of his family, some of the country’s top medical staff and, of course, his trusty blanket that protects him during check-ups, overnight stays and open-heart surgeries. Liam’s story was featured in the SickKids campaign, ‘Better Tomorrows’.

Meet Liam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjfY-nJkCDA&index=21&list=PLQq1TgSGqi1lSQaU2k9s74w0a8y4iiK8z
liam

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9l-jcjATng&list=PLQq1TgSGqi1lSQaU2k9s74w0a8y4iiK8z&index=5 

Liam is one of the hundreds of kids who visit the Labatt Family Heart Centre at SickKids each year. In 2013 alone, the Centre had 10,467 clinic visits, 621 heart surgeries, and 11 heart transplants.

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sick-kids2

This year, try an alternative to the traditional gift-giving and show your loved one you care while making a positive impact on children and families at SickKids.  Check out the SickKids Get Better Gifts catalogue here. You can choose from a variety of heartfelt gifts like craft supplies, 30 days on a heart saturation monitor and a treasure trove of toys.

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