A Visit of Olympic Proportions

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation hosted a true heroes’ welcome on December 7. Patients, parents and the clinical teams were treated to a special visit from Diana Matheson, Shelina Zadorsky and Sabrina D’Angelo of Canada’s national women’s soccer team.

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Diana Matheson, Shelina Zadorsky and Sabrina D’Angelo with MacKid Claire

Diana, Shelina and Sabrina toured the Hospital and took photos with patients and staff, offering everyone an opportunity to wear the bronze medals they won at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“It means so much when patients, parents and staff say that we made their day,” says Shelina. “These patients and families are going through difficult times, and it means a lot to us that we’re able to make their day a little bit brighter.”

As of part their tour, the players visited the Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Clinic before screening highlights from their Olympic bronze-medal winning game and spending time with patients in the RBC Child & Youth Mental Health Inpatient Unit. The visit culminated with the players meeting patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

“I’m a big soccer fan, so it’s really cool that they came to visit me,” said MacKid Claire after being photographed with the Olympians.

The players also engaged with the care teams and learned about the services provided at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

“I was surprised to hear that the Hospital serves a large region,” explains Diana. “It was also interesting to learn about the areas in the Hospital that were improved because of donations to McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, such as the unused, outdoor spaces that were converted to playgrounds for the children.”

All three players commented on how they felt the clinical teams’ genuine passion for providing care to children and youth.

“We are grateful and we really appreciate that the Foundation asked us to meet these patients,” says Sabrina. “It was truly a special experience for us.”