Help families financially devastated

A family with a sick child will lose


of their income.

Many families with a sick child are pushed into poverty. They lose on average 40% of their income, one of the parents usually having to stop working to stay by their child’s bedside.

Because a sick child impacts on the whole family, the Children’s Social Services workers are available to these families 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Thanks to your gift, they help each year more than 600 families receive badly-needed direct assistance to cover transportation, meal tickets, parking, accommodations, medication, medical equipment and other basic necessities. Help a family today.

As you read this letter, it pains me to think that there are children who will be spending the Holidays going back and forth between the hospital and home. I know how it feels: my daughter Maritsa and I spent the holidays at the Children’s in 2014 and again in 2016.

MaritsaWhen I think back, I know I drew strength from caring people like you. You see, we have no family in Quebec, and due to Maritsa’s illness, we could afford little for ourselves. Yet, every day, the support of donors allowed me to stay strong in the face of my daughter’s illness.

For over a year, I went from clinic to clinic to understand why my daughter had such frequent fevers and nausea. They told me it was a viral problem each time. Then, on May 23, 2012, a day I’ll never forget, my 4-year-old’s feet were so swollen she couldn’t walk. She was suffering. I took her to the Children’s, where the ER doctor told me: “A doctor in the oncology department would like to speak with you.” My stomach was in knots.

Maritsa had leukemia. The news came as a shock, but in some ways a relief; I finally knew what was wrong. I could also hope for a full recovery.

They told us Maritsa would need one of her parents to be with her full-time. I knew right away I would have to stop working and we’d have to cut back where we could: no internet, no outings... And there were new expenses to consider.

How would I pay for all the travel to and from the hospital, my rent and her medication?

The first time I went to the pharmacy to fill Maritsa’s prescription, I froze. Ten doses came out to $1,700. Thankfully, I had the incredible support of Social Services at the Children’s and I never worried about paying a medical bill again. They also told me that thanks to the Tiny Tim Fund, I would receive financial aid to help with groceries when I was with Maritsa at the hospital, which meant I could cook in the kitchenette on Maritsa’s hospital floor.

It might not seem like much, but Maritsa’s face lit up when I brought her one of her favorite meals!

I understand that nothing in life is free. These past few years have shown me what true generosity is, coming from people I’ll never meet. Without donors, I couldn’t have helped my child. Without the Children’s, she wouldn’t be here today. I thank you for giving to the Children’s and for giving families like mine the strength to continue.

Rose-Flore, Maritsa’s mother

Marista et sa mère