Drew Jakobsons Announced as 2017 Champion Presented by Walmart

HAMILTON, ON: On November 4, 2016, associates from Walmart stores across the region celebrated the launch of the 2017 Children’s Miracle Network Champions presented by Walmart program. As part of the celebration, 10-year-old Drew Jakobsons from Niagara Falls was announced as McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Patient Ambassador for the 2017 Champions program.

champions2017_logo_ca_color_eng-2Drew’s positive attitude in the face of adversity is an inspiration for all who know him. At 38 weeks of pregnancy, Drew’s mother Leianne became concerned that she couldn’t feel him kicking any more. An emergency cesarean section was performed at McMaster Children’s Hospital, where Drew was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. Drew spent his first seven days at the Hospital overcoming a series of medical challenges, including breathing difficulties, a falling platelet count and jaundice. He went home to Niagara Falls after being stabilized, but he would continue attending regular appointments with various teams at McMaster Children’s Hospital for medical procedures and therapy.

His Down syndrome has caused cognitive and developmental delays, including low muscle tone that affects his speech and motor skills. Drew is growing stronger every day and his speech is improving with therapy. Until he reaches the age of 18, he will continue to visit various clinics at McMaster Children’s Hospital to receive the care that is essential to his growth and development.

Champions is an awareness program designed to educate communities about Children’s Miracle Network, the important work of its member hospital foundations including McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the financial needs of children’s hospitals. This year, the program will honour 65 remarkable children who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges, and offers them an opportunity to represent the millions of children treated annually at children’s hospitals across North America. The Canadian portion of the program will see 13 children from across the country travelling to Ottawa for a once-in-a-lifetime experience before joining the U.S. Champions in Orlando for the Children’s Miracle Network Momentum event in March 2017. This year is Walmart Canada’s 10th year of sponsoring the program.

To read Drew’s full patient story, visit hamiltonhealth.ca/drew-champion.  

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About McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation:

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, as part of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, is focused on raising funds in support of McMaster Children’s Hospital, including Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and McMaster University Medical Centre and their programs. The Foundation provides funding for leading-edge equipment and patient amenities, innovative research initiatives, redevelopment of patient care spaces, and the education and training of health care providers.

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation supports specialized pediatric and women’s reproductive health programs. The second largest provider of inpatient pediatric services in Ontario, the site is also home to a dedicated pediatric emergency department, more than 40 outpatient clinics, the province’s largest neonatal intensive care unit including supportive maternal care, one of Canada’s largest child and youth inpatient mental health programs, and the only pediatric trauma centre in the region. McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) delivers both a wide range of women’s reproductive health services including high-risk obstetrics and pre-natal screening, and a number of adult outpatient and day surgery clinics, at its shared home with McMaster Children’s Hospital. As a foundation, we are focused on enabling outstanding patient care through our goal of Health Care, Transformed.

 About Children’s Miracle Network:

Children’s Miracle Network® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada.  Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and research. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support, identify your member hospital and learn how you can Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are, at http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.ca and http://www.facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

About Walmart Canada:

Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Walmart Canada’s flagship online store, www.walmart.ca, is visited by 600,000 customers daily. With more than 95,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada’s largest employers and is ranked one of the country’s top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada’s extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart has raised and donated more than $250 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca, facebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/walmartcanada.

Media Contact:

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