Fall/Winter 2016
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OPACC NEWS

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2016

Another September drew to a close and OPACC continues to advocate for childhood cancer awareness. Here is a wrap-up of what we did for this year's CCAM:

  • Launched "Faces of OPACC" campaign to share stories, photos, and videos of real OPACC families with the world
  • Partnered with the Big Book of Care awareness campaign to reach a broader audience nationwide
  • Raised awareness and funds through the sale of our gold ribbon pins
  • Attended the Toronto Stock Exchange opening bell ceremony in recognition of CCAM
  • Attended awareness event at SickKids
  • Attended awareness event at Queen's Park

Please support our annual year-end Gold Ribbon Campaign, which runs throughout December and January. Read a special message from our President James and find out how you can help us continue to meet increasing demand for support in 2017 here.

We are always looking for stories and photos of OPACC families to share with the world in our special "Faces of OPACC" feature on our website. You can read stories and view photos of real OPACC families as they share their childhood cancer journeys. Some have happy endings, some do not, some are still in transition...but all are inspiring, raw, and powerful! By sharing these, we hope to increase awareness by having the world read and hear real stories from childhood cancer families. If you would like to submit your story and photo(s) for this page, please contact us!

We are pleased to welcome Shannon Kroon from the Shine Through the Rain Foundation as our newest OPACC Director!

There is still an opening available for a volunteer parent support group Facilitator in York Region! If you are willing to Facilitate a group for York Region childhood cancer families, please contact us.

Congratulations to Michelle Da Costa for winning the family pack of Playdium Playcards and for submitting her video testimonial for our OneStory campaign in September!

Learn about the Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT), why it's important to address the mental health needs of families of children with cancer, and how you can help make it widely available!

Learn More

Read about all the good work that OPACC has done for our families in 2016!

THANK YOU


To the Shine Through the Rain Foundation and all of their sponsors for making an amazing Christmas Party possible for our families on December 8th! View the photos from this event here.







To Million Dollar Smiles for delivering Bearhug bears and gift cards to our families at SickKids on December 10th!


To O.M. MacKillop Public School in Richmond Hill for hosting their second Kaps4Kids childhood cancer fundraising and awareness event and donating the funds ($140) to OPACC!

If you would like to learn more about how your child's school can host a Kaps4Kids day, please click here

 


To Nelson Picard & Caroline Simard for presenting at our Lunch and Learn session at SickKids on November 10th!



To St. Pius X Catholic School in Toronto for donating $166.90 from their Civvies Day funds to OPACC!

To the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Dr. Eric Hoskins' office for inviting OPACC to be a part of the announcement on hospital parking at SickKids on October 3rd!



To Barrie Press for donating the printing of all our awareness fact cards distributed throughout Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!



To The Superhero Company for donating $126.80 from a birthday party fee back to OPACC, and to OPACC parent and Director Sunny H. for making it happen!

To Munira N. (SickKids), Carole (SickKids Women's Auxiliary) and OPACC volunteer Rae-Lynn N. for donating toiletries to our drop-ins!

If you would like to make a donation of toiletries, toys, books, snacks, detergent, gift cards, etc. to our SickKids drop-ins, please contact our Parent Liaison Susan




To Starbucks Canada for their continuing support of OPACC by donating coffee, tea, and treats to our drop-ins, meetings and workshops, and community support groups!

To Dean Robev, Store Manager at Sobeys Todmorden (1015 Broadview Avenue, East York) for his ongoing commitment to providing donations of healthy snack options for our SickKids drop-ins! And many thanks also to Anna T. for making this happen.




To Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation for allowing us the continued use of their teleconference number for our meetings!

To Sarah Mueller at The Design Truth for donating her graphic design services!



To all of our amazing volunteers at SickKids who give their time generously to help our Parent Liaison Susan at our weekly drop-ins for childhood cancer families!
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST

On October 1st, SickKids introduced a discounted multi-use parking pass for parents of patients and their frequent visitors known as the "H Pass." The pass offers a reduced parking rate and also allows for in-and-out privileges throughout a 24 hour period. For more information on the H Pass, click here.

On November 1st, the Canadian Cancer Society introduced changes to its Wheels of Hope transportation program whereas families who live within 200km of a childhood cancer treatment centre will no longer be reimbursed through their Family Provided transportation program and instead are encouraged to register for the Volunteer Driver provided program. Learn more about the Wheels of Hope program here.

Free online "Wellbeing After Cancer" course & research study offered by the University of Regina designed to help men and women (ages 18+) who have recently (within the past 5 years) completed cancer treatment and are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. For more information click here.

The #KidsCancerPain campaign aims to bring parents the very best, cutting-edge research evidence about children’s cancer pain – what causes it, common myths, how to assess it, how to treat it, and more! Learn more here.

Attention retinoblastoma families: Two new studies at SickKids need you! The purpose of the first study is to gather information about the experiences, knowledge, research interests, and communication preferences of retinoblastoma survivors and their families. The purpose of the second study is to create a list of people affected by retinoblastoma across Canada, called the Canadian Retinoblastoma Research Registry. Learn more here.

Save the date: The annual "Swish for the Cure" free event for childhood cancer families at Elite Camps will take place on Saturday, February 4th! Learn more here.

Save the date: The next "Kids Being Kids" free event for childhood cancer families at CJ's Skatepark will take place on Saturday, March 25th! Learn more here.

The Late Effects After Treatment Tool (LEATT) allows you to learn about the potential late effects that may occur as a result of having cancer and treatment as a child. The tool provides results specifically for you, based on the information you enter. Your results will tell you about potential late effects, symptoms to look for, provide recommendations for follow-up care, and offer prevention tips that may help reduce your risk for further health issues. Learn more here.

The SuperSibs program has a variety of helpful, FREE online resources for parents and siblings of children with cancer.
FREE online Childhood Cancer Resource Library.
HOW OPACC HELPS YOU
 

OPACC's three pillars of support are:

I. In-hospital support through our Parent Liaison program

II. Community support through community-based parent support groups and training of new Facilitators

III. Leadership in Advocacy efforts to enable parents to advocate for themselves and to advocate on issues affecting childhood cancer families on a wider Provincial level, such as: E.I. legislation for benefits to Parents of Critically Ill Children, reduced hospital parking rates, representation for childhood cancer survivors, supporting the educational needs of children with cancer, childhood cancer awareness, and more!

 

OPACC is different because we support parents and families of children with cancer! While children with cancer deservedly have access to an impressive support network of healthcare professionals, friends and family, and charitable organizations focused on making them better and improving their quality of life, parents are often the "forgotten patient" and experience a high level of stress while juggling the demands of caring for their sick child as well as for the rest of the family and work. A diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating in its impact to the entire family, as they experience fear, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and frequently face financial hardships. OPACC believes in the value of providing parent support and that strong families start with strong parent support.

HOW YOU CAN HELP OPACC

OPACC is an independent registered charity; while we often partner with other organizations to provide services to our families, our programs are managed separately. Although closely integrated within the hospital through our Parent Liaison program, OPACC is an organization operating and funded separately from SickKids. OPACC receives no government funding and all funding for the development of our programs, services and special events (which are provided at no cost to our families) comes from the donations of generous organizations, businesses, foundations, and individuals. Below, please find some ways that you can give back to help us continue helping our families!

Find out how your donations can help and donate through CanadaHelps!
Order gift cards through FundScrip and a portion of the sales goes back to OPACC!
Get your school involved in a fun & easy Kaps4Kids awareness & fundraising event!
Shop for OPACC merchandise!
Direct your United Way workplace donations to OPACC!
BMO Customers: Round up your Mastercard purchases and donate the difference to OPACC!
Do you want your birthday to be even more meaningful? Celebrate your birthday by pledging it to OPACC in less than a minute!

Donate your Shoppers Optimum Points to OPACC for the purchase of items for our drop-ins and family support programs!

Did you know that you can launch a third-party fundraising campaign for OPACC in just minutes? Check out our website for some exciting ideas!
Corporate support can help us do more! Learn how businesses can help support OPACC in meaningful ways in return for generous donor recognition opportunities.
Volunteer!
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Copyright © 2016 Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer, All rights reserved.


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