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A granddaughter’s legacy: support for pediatric cancer treatment

A granddaughter’s legacy: support for pediatric cancer treatment

Over the years, Bob Caster witnessed how McMaster Children’s Hospital makes a major difference in the lives of young cancer patients. His granddaughter, Ayverie, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer, in 2013. It was the day before her eighth birthday.

“Ayverie spent more than 300 days as an inpatient at McMaster Children’s Hospital and she always received amazing care,” said Bob, who is a member of the Oakville-Trafalgar Lions Club. “She passed away from the cancer at age 14 on April 3, 2019.”

On December 16, Bob joined his daughter Valerie, grandson Kye, and fellow Lions Club members from across the region for a special visit to McMaster Children’s Hospital. They presented a cheque for $136,000 in celebration of Ayverie.

After she passed away, Bob collaborated with all 90 Lions Clubs in his district and raised $68,000 in support of McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation. This amount was matched by the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) for the total of $136,000.

“In 2018, Ayverie was the one who came up with the idea of fundraising to support other pediatric cancer patients,” explains Ayverie’s mother, Valerie. “She had such a humble heart and she always wanted to help other people.”

The generous donation will support the purchase of several Qube monitors, which will enhance the care of pediatric cancer patients at McMaster Children’s Hospital. These portable devices enable health care professionals to monitor their patients’ conditions and make well-informed decisions about their care, even in rapidly developing circumstances.

“Because they’re portable, kids can be monitored while they go for a walk around the hospital and they’re able to leave their rooms,” says Bob. “We’re happy that we can give back and help other patients in need.”

At the cheque presentation, guests were given a demonstration of a Qube monitor by Krista Binnington, Clinical Manager of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. She explained how Qube monitors enable health care professionals to monitor a patient’s ventilatory, circulatory and metabolic status, which is vital to providing the best possible treatment.

Putting such a valuable tool in the hands of the Hospital’s cancer specialists will make a real difference in patients’ lives. The purchase of additional monitors will enhance patient care for years to come and help McMaster Children’s Hospital stay on the leading edge of pediatric cancer care.

“We plan to continue fundraising for the Foundation and supporting care at the Hospital,” says Bob, “We hope that others will hear about our story and be inspired to give themselves.”

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