The Ardene Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada partnered up to gift shoes to frontline workers. Hundreds of seriously ill children across the country received 2 pairs of shoes donated by Ardene, along with provided fabric markers. After designing them at home, they then kept one pair for themselves, while the matching pairs were given to important healthcare workers in their life to thank them for their protection!
We asked Starlight families to describe their chosen frontline worker in one word. Today, meet Ian and his very own “caring” healthcare hero, Dr. Lippa, as well as Dr. Bonnie Henry!
10-year-old Ian was born with biliary atresia that lead to him requiring a life-saving liver transplant at only 8 months old. Unfortunately, the surgery came with complications, and has since forced him in-and-out of the hospital quite frequently.
As an immunocompromised child, Ian has always had to be proactive to protect himself from any everyday illness. Now during COVID-19, his family has taken even further measures, with even more hand washing, keeping his social bubble small, and having no playdates with friends. “It’s hard trying to balance keeping him safe and keeping his mental health in check too,” his mom, Amanda, shared.
Through Ian’s isolation during COVID-19, Starlight Canada has sent him Play From Home Packs to help bring happiness directly home to him. “These packs have been an amazing distraction from being in quarantine where he becomes easily bored,” Amanda said. “It was always a happy week when he received a new Play From Home Pack.”
Thanks to the Ardene Foundation, his time at home was also spent reflecting on those who have worked to protect him through his health challenges, both before and during COVID-19, by gifting 2 healthcare heroes in his life a personalized pair of shoes!
Dr. Lippa has been Ian’s family doctor since birth and has watched him grow up; always making herself available to see him when need be. When she sees reports from his other doctors indicating Ian has been in-hospital or has suffered any sort of set back, Dr. Lippa will call his family just to check in and offer her support. During COVID-19, Dr. Lippa still sees him once a month for his monthly injections!
Ian gifting Dr. Lippa her pair of Ardene shoes.
Although Ian has not met B.C. Provincial Health Office, Dr. Bonnie Henry, he also wanted to take the time to thank her for helping immunocompromised kids, just like him! After receiving her pair, Dr. Bonnie Henry wanted to pass along the message, “Be calm, be kind, be safe.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry wearing her Ardene shoes, designed by Ian.
When hand-drawing his shoes for both doctors, Ian wanted them to be bright and happy, with lots of hearts on them, to emphasize the care and love they have for their patients. When gifting his shoes to Dr. Lippa, she was brought to tears by the kind gesture!
A close-up of Ian’s design!
“Thank you Ardene for the donation of the shoes,” Amanda shared. “It was fun to sit and design them, and it was fun to see the big smile on the doctors’ faces when they got them. It helped to brighten their day and it made me feel good to say thank you to them.”
To check out more photos on social media from this initiative made possible thanks to the generosity of the Ardene Foundation, click here!