When COVID-19 hit the country, the Ardene Foundation partnered up with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada to thank frontline workers for their work and protection. Ardene donated hundreds of shoes to seriously ill kids and teens across Canada. Each child received 2 customizable pairs — one child size and one adult size — along with provided fabric markers. After hand-drawing on them at home, they would keep one pair for themselves, and send the matching pair to a healthcare hero of their own!
We asked Starlight families to describe their chosen healthcare worker in one word. Today, we introduce you to Leanne and her “amazing” healthcare hero, Lindsay!
Leanne is a 14-year-old girl who suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. It’s been difficult growing up with constant health challenges, but Starlight Canada has always been by her side over the years. “Starlight [is an organization] we know we can trust and turn to when things seem dark, scary or sad, and they would make the world feel hopeful and bright again,” her mom, Kristy, said.
On March 2, just weeks prior to COVID-19 shutting down the country, Leanne went in for surgery and was admitted for 110 days in-hospital. Due to the pandemic, there were many times where her mom, Kristy, wasn’t allowed to visit her for support. Without being able to see any friends since then as well, it has been extremely tough mentally on Leanne, who is already going through so much physically.
“Without such a great team of nurses and FaceTime, I don’t know how we would have coped,” Kristy shared. One of those nurses that helped this family get through such a difficult time was Lindsay.
Lindsay is a pediatric registered nurse at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. When Leanne was admitted in March, it was her first inpatient stay with Lindsay as one of the nurses. The family would quickly come to learn that Lindsay would play a huge and positive role in her time isolated at the hospital.
“She was always so happy, and even was Leanne was so lonely and missing home, Lindsay would do anything and everything to make her smile and feel loved while in-hospital,” Kristy stated. For weeks on end, when Leanne wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital or have any visitors, Lindsay would bring happiness into her room with extra crafts and treats that would make her feel special.
Thanks to the Adene Foundation, this family had an opportunity to make Lindsay feel special too, and thank her for her service. When personalizing the donated pairs of Ardene shoes, Leanne decided to draw one shoe to represent her own passions of stars and shapes, and the other shoe to symbolize Lindsay’s love for her cat. While in-hospital, Lindsay would always talk about her cat with Leanne and show her pictures, so it was the perfect touch!
Lindsay and Leanne wearing their customized Ardene shoes!
When speaking on the Ardene Foundation and this initiative, Kristy shared, “I don’t think there are enough words to say thank you. This sums up our kids’ world so completely. We all (especially the kids) get to know and care for the nurses and doctors we see on an almost daily basis. Something like colouring, that brings such easy joy to many kids, to tell healthcare workers, ‘I’m thinking of you and thank you for all that you do’, is an amazing idea.”