St. John’s Boy Diagnosed with Brain Tumour Will Receive a Three Minute Shopping Spree through Local Toys“R”Us, Canada store this September
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.
ST. JOHN’S, NFLD (August 24, 2017) - After being diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of five, it’s safe to say that St. John’s-based Starlight child Nathan’s early life has had some challenges. From countless hospital stays to times of complete isolation during treatment and surgery, Nathan (now seven years old) has missed out on many opportunities to enjoy just being a kid. This year, in an effort to provide Nathan 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 Woodgate Plaza, 58 Kenmount Road, St. John’s, NFLD. On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7:00 a.m., Nathan 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.
“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 Nathan.”
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 Nathan and his family much fun and excitement as our team members proudly welcome them to our St. John’s Dash!” says Mary Hewton, VP Human Resources and Customer Relations for Toys“R”Us, Canada.
More about Nathan
On May 20, 2015, a then five-year-old Nathan had his world turned upside down, when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was immediately hospitalized at the Janeway in St. John’s, and underwent what would be the first of several brain surgeries on May 27, 2015. Following two rounds of chemotherapy, Nathan’s family learned that the tumour had already started to grow back, and he was then sent to the IWK in Halifax for another surgery to remove the new growth. He then underwent 33 radiation treatments. Following this, Nathan’s family had a year and a half of clear scans, with life seemingly getting life back to normal; Nathan started school and blossomed with his friends and his activities. In June of 2017, they learned that unfortunately two new tumours had quickly grown in his little brain. Once again he was sent to Halifax, and just weeks ago, underwent back-to-back surgeries to remove the tumours. Nathan is currently undergoing additional radiation treatments.
Throughout it all, Nathan has kept a smile on his face and joy in his heart. With his love of swimming, playing mini golf and legos, along with video games like Minecraft and Halo, Nathan has found ways to escape his diagnosis through distractive entertainment.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Twitter: @StarlightCanada #StarDash
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)