When COVID-19 shocked us all, the Ardene Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada teamed up to thank frontline workers with shoes. 180 seriously ill kids and teens across Canada received 2 pairs of customizable shoes donated by Ardene, along with provided fabric markers. After hand-drawing on them at home, they would keep one child-sized pair for themselves, and send the matching adult-sized pair to a healthcare worker of their own as a token of their appreciation!
We asked Starlight families what one word came to mind when they thought about their chosen healthcare worker. Today, meet Jersey and her “caring” healthcare hero, Kathleen!
7-year-old Jersey lives with congenital heart disease and is 100% reliant on a pacemaker. For Jersey and her family, childhood has been filled with doctors’ appointments, physiotherapy, days spent in-hospital, and taking caution in daily activities to protect her pacemaker.
Jersey in-hospital after surgery
Living with a life-threatening disease already brings so many uncertainties in life. When COVID-19 hit, it was yet another unpredictable obstacle added to this family’s path. Important appointments and physiotherapy started getting pushed back, and Jersey even had to cancel her birthday party. “It was a lot for a little kid,” her mom, Casey, shared.
Through so many moments of uncertainty, Kathleen has always been a constant.
Kathleen currently works as a personal support worker (PSW) at North View Retirement. “Kathleen has been there since the beginning of Jersey’s life, helping us, when so many were scared to,” Casey said. When Jersey first came home from the hospital after birth, it was a lot for this family to take in all at once. She was on a feeding tube and needed blood thinner injections, but Kathleen made sure to always come over to help them when they needed a hand and to feel supported.
Thanks to the Ardene Foundation, this family was so grateful for the opportunity to show their appreciation to Kathleen. “Our favourite healthcare worker has done so much for us and our family, and it was so nice to be able to give something back to her that she could use and be proud to show off,” Casey shared.
When Jersey was designing her and Kathleen’s matching pair of Ardene shoes, she chose to draw broken hearts on them, as Kathleen always helped take care of her and her own broken heart.
Jersey gifting Kathleen her matching, personalized Ardene shoes!