McKenna's Dream Comes True

News / General
By Matthew Manor

12-year old McKenna Modler talks with CEO Leslee Thompson after presenting a cheque to the Children's Cancer Care Fund at Kingston General Hospital worth just over $96,000.

If anyone knows how difficult cancer treatment can be on children and their families, it's McKenna Modler. After her diagnosis with a brain tumor two years ago, trips back and forth from Kingston to Toronto to undergo 70 chemotherapy treatments began to take an emotional and financial toll on her family. Not wanting other children to face the same issue, McKenna began 'McKenna's Dream' - a fundraising campaign aimed at easing the financial burden on families facing a cancer diagnosis. "I know how hard it was for me when I was going through chemotherapy but it's hard for other kids too. I wanted to make it easier for them. This money will really help them," said McKenna. Her hope came true today. Gathered in front of KGH's historic Watkins building, McKenna and her 'Dream Team' of fundraisers presented a cheque for $96,194.01 to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. She raised the money with the help of her family and a 'Dream Team' by hosting a big family fun fair in nearby Landsdowne at the end of July. For McKenna, it was the culmination of a lot of hard work. "I can't believe where we've ended up since we began. I'm so happy I could help." The funds which will be used for The Children's Cancer Care Fund will help families cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel and accommodation to treatments, tutoring for children who have missed school due to treatment schedules and for medications not covered through health plans. Also on hand for the inspirational moment were: UHKF Chair Elia Anagnostopoulos , KGH Pediatric Oncologist Dr. Mariana Silva and President and CEO Leslee Thompson. After chatting with McKenna, Thomspon says she was touched by her courage and leadership. "Seeing a young person who has taken hold of an idea and managed to inspire others to contribute to that dream is a phenomenal lesson in leadership and an inspiration to all of us. McKenna's donation will make a real difference to other children with cancer. It's just wonderful."