For the past two years, I was able to attend the annual CHEO Telethon in the city of Ottawa.
CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) is an amazing hospital. I know this both from first hand experience as well as second hand. I’ve been blessed in a way that, I have only had to go to CHEO for a couple minor issues.
Immediately entering the doors of CHEO, you just know that you are in a place where you will be taken care of by genuinely caring people. There are a few close friends of mine that have spent a large portion of their lives at CHEO and using it’s facilities. I know that, without the help of CHEO, I may not have been able to meet these friends and create the relationships with them that I have.
The overall atmosphere: admirable.
Although I digress, I think it is important for those of you reading to know how many lives were changed and improved simply because of this hospital. There is no doubt that the walls within the hospital have seen tears, pain and hardship, but in contrary, it has most definitely witnessed much strength, courage, optimism, dedication, survivors and success. It is the optimism that this place brings to the lives of children and their families which is the main goal. Ultimately, they hold a Telethon so they can continue to save and improve lives.
I attended my first CHEO Telethon in 2013 with the lovely Miss Teen Ontario East 2012, Gracie, also a former Miss Teenage Canada delegate. The whole environment was new to me; I had never been to a telethon before, but what made it intimidating were the lights, cameras and video crew everywhere. I could not help but notice a television that showed stories of children who deal with CHEO on a regular basis. Emotional could be one word for it, but another word comes to mind which is: inspiring. There are children that have to go through so much treatment and therapy, but yet, some of them aren’t even at a point in life of knowing how to speak. If I may speak for myself, but also generally, I know that, sometimes, I take my health for granted. The strength and courage that these children have is amazing and definitely serves as a reminder of just how precious life is, but also, a reminder of strong you really are, despite being in a tough circumstance. We can all strive to be like these children, and I think that a large life lesson was taught.
Earlier in this month, I attended the telethon again with the recently crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2014. We did the same as we did last year, which was; answering phones, and it always seemed to go by way too fast.
I am overjoyed to say that telethon raised over 7 million dollars this year. I could only imagine how many lives that amount of money can improve and save.