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The Childrenís Wish
Foundation is a federally
chartered, non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with serious
illnesses Over 19,000 wishes have been granted in Canada, 6,000 in Quebec alone.
Jacob is 3 years old and he has a wish. At 21 months old Jacob was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is scheduled to finish his treatment in December and will be in remission by February.
Rosemere High School, a secondary school located in Rosemere loves to help children like Jacob have their wishes granted. The Merry Fest community breakfast was started 6 years ago when Principal Scott Traylen arrived. Spearheaded by Debbie Adams and Christine Minty, each Christmas the schoolís cafeteria is transformed into a wonderland where staff, students and parent volunteers work together to hold the breakfast. Most of the food for this event is donated. For $5.00, students and their families enjoy a homemade breakfast prepared and served by staff, students and volunteer parents. In addition to the kickoff to celebrating the season this breakfast helps to grant a childís dream. This past December 20th, the annual Merry Fest Community Breakfast raised $10,000 that went to the Childrenís Wish Foundation so that they could send three-year-old Jacob, a Rosemere resident and his family to Disney World to meet the characters from Star Wars.
The trip is Jacobís wish but it will also be a part of the healing process for the entire family. Jacob began his love for Star Wars through a Star Wars video game and Star Wars Legos. His mother said that Jedi Grand Master Yoda is her sonís favorite character because of their similarities. Both are small, brave, strong, and wise. The quote, ďDo, or do not. There is no try,Ē spoken by Yoda, echoes strongly with them. ďJacob evidently did it,Ē Jacobís father said, ďAnd the force was with him.Ē
After Jacob became ill the familyís first outing was to a Star Wars convention at the Montreal Science Centre. This summer, Jacob, his brother and their parents hope to be able to come full circle in their healing with the same Star Wars theme that began their journey two years ago. For Jacobís entire family this is a much needed trip as the illness has affected all of them. Jacobís 7 year old brother has had to take a back seat in the face of his brotherís cancer. For mom and dad, they will be able to have some much needed personal time as well on the trip as Jacobís grandmother will be accompanying them to Orlando.
Foundations like Childrenís Wish need fundraisers and individual donors, as the government does not provide these kinds of services. Rosemere High School has donated more than $53,000 over the past 6 years and intends to continue this wonderful tradition.
Anyone can donate to The Childrenís Wish Foundation and even help plan large-scale fundraisers. You will not find any donation boxes in public places. The Foundationís objective is to make causes personal and real, and wants people to understand why they are donating. To learn more about The Childrenís Wish Foundation and how to help out more families like Jacobís, please visit www.childrenswish.ca
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