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Ottawa Boy Diagnosed with Leukemia Will Receive a Three Minute Shopping Spree through Local Toys“R”Us, Canada store this September

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Starlight Children’s Foundation™ Canada along with partner Toys”R”Us, Canada to provide eight Canadian families with a fun-filled escape away from the hospital, and their daily struggles with illness this fall.

OTTAWA, ON (August 22, 2017) - After being diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six, it’s safe to say that Ottawa-based Starlight child Gabriel’s early life has had some challenges. From countless hospital stays to times of complete isolation during treatment, Gabriel (now 11 years old) has missed out on many opportunities to enjoy just being a kid. This year, in an effort to provide Gabriel with a chance to create much-needed positive memories away from the hospital, Toys”R”Us, Canada in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will be gifting him with a 3-Minute Dash through the Toys“R”Us store located at 3742 Innes Road, Orleans, Ontario. On Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:00 a.m., Gabriel and his family will have the chance to race through the store to fill their shopping carts with as many free toys as possible within the three minute timeframe.

The 3-Minute Dash program (now in its fourth successful year) is donated by Toys“R”Us as part of their long standing partnership with Starlight and will take place in eight cities across the nation this fall: Ottawa, Montreal, St. John’s, Langley, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg. Each dash recipient was randomly selected as part of a contest Starlight held earlier this summer, in which families were asked to share the details of their child’s care journey and submit them to their local Starlight Programs Coordinator for entry.

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“At Starlight, we see first-hand the daily struggles and challenges Canadian families face when caring for their seriously ill child,” says Starlight Executive Director, Brian Bringolf. “Programs like the 3-Minute Dash are at the heart of our organization, providing us with the unique chance to bring welcome distraction and a genuine smile to the faces of deserving children like Gabriel.”

Over the past 19 years, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us continues to be one of Starlight’s most involved and valuable partners. Through in-store and online campaigns, 3-Minute Dashes, their Starlight Gala event sponsorship, and donations to in-hospital, neonatal care and out-of-hospital programs, they have donated an incredible $17 million to Starlight and have been extraordinary advocates in the community about Starlight’s work.

“Hope and laughter, entertainment and distraction, comfort and support are an integral part of the circle of care and make a real difference to the quality of a seriously ill child’s life. We hope our event brings Gabriel and his family much fun and excitement as our team members proudly welcome them to our Ottawa Dash!” says Mary Hewton, VP Human Resources and Customer Relations for Toys“R”Us, Canada.

More about Gabriel

Gabriel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 6, a time when boys are adventurous, curious and very active. His stays at the hospital were often difficult and, at times, prevented him from even being allowed outdoors or in public places. Gabo, a nickname lovingly bestowed by his family, enjoys creating his own worlds with Lego and can’t get enough of both Star Wars and the Cars series. An enthusiastic Ottawa Senators fan, Gabo loves both hockey and soccer, but also finds joy in playing his guitar. At the time of Gabriel’s 3-Minute Dash, he will be approaching his twelfth birthday, making the upcoming experience even more exciting for both him and his family.

This year, in addition to the 3-Minute Dash, Toys“R”Us has also helped sponsor:

  • 85 Hospital Grants – Monetary funding to support distractive entertainment for hospitalized children.
  • 10,500 ER Admit Kits – A variety of care products for children and parents during unexpected hospital stays.
  • 7,000 Baby & Toddler Fun Kits – Cuddly toys and games to distract very young children during unpleasant hospital stays.
  • 100 Starlight Treasure Chests – A box filled with toys and surprises, used by children during appointments at the hospital or clinic.
  • Baby Resources for Hospitals Program – Supplying easy to sanitize crib mobiles and activity centers along with special infant seats to cover 100 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across Canada.
  • First Nations Resource Program – A pilot project distributing 900 books and literature promoting Native and Inuit culture to pediatric hospitals serving the First Nations Community.

 

For more information, media accreditation, photos or interview requests, please contact:

Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | cory@embracedisruption.com, 647.638.1586

 

About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:

Starlight Children’s Foundation™ Canada is part of Starlight’s global network, serving seriously ill children and their families through partnerships with more than 160 healthcare facilities. Over the past 25 years, Starlight has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home.

Website: http://www.starlightcanada.org/

Twitter: @StarlightCanada #StarDash

Facebook: http://facebook.com/starlightcanada

Instagram: http://instagram.com/starlightcanada

Periscope: @StarlightCanada

 

About Toys“R”Us, Canada: 

Toys“R”Us (Canada) Ltd. and Babies“R”Us are part of Toys“R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys“R”Us, Canada operates 82 full-sized stores across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.

 

Follow Toys“R”Us, Canada on Facebook (Facebook.com/ToysRUsCanada), Twitter (@ToysRUsCanada) and Instagram (@ToysRUsCanada)

 

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