Brantford Neonatal Patient Named an Ambassador

HAMILTON, ON: Tracy from Brantford was 29 weeks into her pregnancy when she encountered her first complication.

A close up of Cash as a NICU patient. He is hooked up to a CPAP machine.

Cash in the NICU at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

“The doctor at McMaster Children’s Hospital discovered a lack of blood flow from the placenta to the baby,” explains Tracy.

Tracy underwent an emergency C-section and her son Cash was born 11 weeks early, weighing only 1,290 grams.

“Cash’s lungs were extremely weak,” recalls Tracy. “He relied heavily on CPAPs (continuous positive airway pressure ventilators) to help him breathe until his lungs strengthened.”

The team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at McMaster Children’s Hospital, the largest NICU in Ontario, helped Cash through numerous health complications. He had a low hemoglobin count, which can lead to breathing and heart issues, so he underwent three blood transfusions and a platelet transfusion. Cash also required surgery to repair a hernia.

“It was wonderful when we could take Cash home after nearly three months in the NICU,” says Tracy. “But because he experienced some developmental delays, especially with his gross motor skills, we needed to visit McMaster Children’s Hospital regularly for testing until he was four.”

Cash continued to grow and gain strength over the next few years. Now seven, he has caught  up with his physical development and started to meet his milestones.

Cash was selected to be a MacKids Ambassador for the upcoming MacKids Walk & Wheel on June 1 because of his resilience in the face of adversity. He is sharing his story to increase awareness of the life-changing services at McMaster Children’s Hospital, including Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, and to motivate the public to register and fundraise for the event.

Cash smiles as he poses for a photo.

MacKids Ambassador Cash today. Photo courtesy of Alexis Burton Photography.

“Cash has overcome incredible challenges to become the thriving child he is today, and we know his story will inspire communities across the region to come out and support MacKids Walk & Wheel,” says Pearl Veenema, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. “We are honoured to have Cash as one of our MacKids Ambassadors who represents the patients that receive life-altering care at McMaster Children’s Hospital.”

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation is proud to host the eighth-annual MacKids Walk & Wheel, presented by RBC, on Saturday, June 1. All ages are encouraged to register and fundraise to help us achieve our goal of $200,000 in support of highest priority needs at McMaster Children’s Hospital, including Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre.

In partnership with the Hamilton Police Service and Hamilton Public Health, the event includes:

  • Tikes on Trikes Bike Ride for ages two to five
  • Wonders on Wheels Bike Ride for ages six to 10
  • Trailblazers family walk for all ages

Every registrant will also receive free access to MiracleFest, featuring lunch, inflatable bouncers, photo booth, Teddy Bear Hospital sponsored by Marz Homes and many more family-friendly attractions.

To register and fundraise, or to read the stories of our other MacKids Ambassadors, visit mackids.ca/walkandwheel

Note: Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Those wishing to sponsor or donate prizes may contact Milaina Wright at 905-521-2100 ext. 76787 or wrightmila@hhsc.ca.

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Media Contact:

Michael Cordeiro
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
905-521-2100 ext. 73374
cordeiromi@hhsc.ca

About McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation:

 McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, as part of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, provides vital funding to enable the best possible patient care at McMaster Children’s Hospital, including Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and McMaster University Medical Centre. The Foundation inspires and motivates gifts that fund medical equipment and patient amenities, innovative research initiatives, essential redevelopment of clinical care spaces, and the education and training of health care providers.

McMaster Children’s Hospital is the second largest provider of inpatient pediatric services in Ontario. The Hospital is home to the province’s largest neonatal intensive care unit including supportive maternal care, the largest pediatric mental health program in Canada, and the only inpatient pediatric cancer program in south-central Ontario.