Thankful for the help she received as a child from Sick Kids, a young woman is determined to raise her goal of $3,000 to donate to the hospital
By Tristan Kong
Twenty-five year-old Vicki Brown has been working hard for the past few months to raise her goal of $3,000 to donate to the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto.
This is not Brown's first fundraiser for the medical institution, with her passion and enthusiasm coming from her very own personal, life changing experience.
When she was just a newborn baby, she spent a few days at Sick Kids where she was sent immediately after her local hospital realized she was born with a cleft palate.
Like others with the same condition, the roof of her mouth had not fully developed, leaving a gap, and she had surgery to repair this when she was just one year-old.
“Since I was a little baby, I don’t remember much of this,” explained Brown.
Throughout her childhood, she had go back for appointments, and check-ups that were necessary to make sure everything was developing properly after her surgery. These occasions were not something Brown dreaded, but rather ones she looked forward to.
It was usually a full day of adventure spent with her mom where they would meet a few specialists who did a variety of tests, followed by an ice cream at the end of the day.
More than the playroom she enjoyed waiting in before her appointments, Brown remembers all the staff and their kindness, always making her visits memorable.
While Brown explained there were a few challenges she had to overcome growing up such as speech difficulties and struggles eating, her health today is quite normal.
Nobody would know she was born with a cleft palate unless she told them.
Now a proud graduate of Humber College with a diploma in Early Childhood Education, she has spent the past four and a half years working privately with families of children and young adults with special needs.
“I believe that because I went through speech therapy myself, I can relate with the kids a little bit, and have a greater understanding of what some of them may be going through,” said Brown.
Today, she wants to give back to the Hospital for Sick Kids, and thank them for how much they did for her, with the help of her fundraising.
“I want to help ensure that they can continue doing what they do best, and that all the kids being born in this generation have the same opportunities to become healthy, successful adults like myself,” said Brown.
In 2009, Brown worked hard during her first fundraising project for Sick Kids, eventually surpassing her goal of $2,000.
She also donated her hair to Angel Hair for Kids, a program that provides wigs for children facing hair loss due to diseases or other causes – something she will do again this year when she meets her monetary goal.
“I know I am only one person, but I believe I can still make a significant difference for the children and families who need support from Sick Kids Hospital,” said Brown.
Despite the hard work and tireless hours, there is one thought that makes it all worthwhile.
“I feel like I may be making a really wonderful and positive difference in someone’s life with the money I raise,” said Brown.
And that’s what inspired her to repeat this fundraising project all over again now.
STIR is proud of Vicki's fundraising projects, and would like to also thank the Hospital for Sick Kids. If you would like to support Vicki’s fundraising project for the Hospital for Sick Kids,please click here.
Note: Tristan Kong, the founder/publisher of STIR personally donated toward Vicki's Hospital for Sick Kids fundraising project.
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