“For us, Starlight Canada is one big family,” shared Starlight mom, Valerie. “It’s thanks to Starlight Canada that we can have fun and enjoy each activity without worrying about being judged.”
Starlight siblings, Kyliann and Kayden, were sadly not given an easy childhood. 7-year-old Kyliann lives with several complicated diagnoses that affect her mobility, cognitive development, and more. Constantly needing help from those around her, even simple tasks like getting dressed or eating can be hard for Kyliann to do on her own.
Meanwhile, her little brother, Kayden, was also facing his own health challenges. Living with digestive issues, difficulties with mobility, and more, Kayden spent around 150 days in hospital each year for operations or check-ups.
Through it all, Kayden had Starlight Canada by his side. Adventures like riding ATV’s and cruising on the water by boat brought plenty of much-needed smiles to this little boy’s life.
“Regardless of the activity, Kayden was always able to recognize the Starlight Canada truck from afar,” said Valerie. “He was happy to do something other than be at the hospital, and he laughed every time he saw it – a little laugh that said it all!”
Heartbreakingly, after 5 years of resiliency, Kayden passed away in January 2022, and is now a Starlight angel. During this unimaginable time, Kayden’s family finds comfort in knowing that they were able to cherish every moment they had together with the help of Starlight Canada. Whether it was riding in exotic cars at Drive For Smiles or taking a relaxing pontoon ride on the water, Starlight Canada gave Kyliann and her family special memories to look back on during their limited time with Kayden.
Right from the start, Kayden showed his family and those around them what courage truly means in his short 5 years. Inspired by the family’s strength and determined to support them through the hardships, BMR Pierre Naud Inc., a local hardware company in Quebec where Starlight dad, Kevin, works, hosted their golf tournament fundraiser last summer in honour of Kayden and in support of Starlight Canada.
Thanks to the dedicated team at BMR Pierre Naud Inc., they raised over $20,500 with Kayden in their hearts every step of the way. This incredible contribution went towards helping fund Starlight Canada’s hospital to home programs across the country, including Kyliann and Kayden’s favourite Starlight Great Escapes Wish activity, off-roading on ATVs at Motomax our events.
“It’s with these activities that we see Kyliann continue to flourish, have fun, and live great moments,” said Valerie. After the passing of her brother, Kyliann was able to attend 12 Starlight Canada events in 2022 that brought her moments of relief and distraction at a time she needed it most, while allowing her to feel close to her brother. Last September, Kyliann and her family even took a special trip to Ontario to attend Drive For Smiles Toronto! Complete with an exciting day of cruising around the racetrack, a hotel stay, and more, this experience gave them a chance to reconnect and find their smiles after enduring so much as a family.
This summer, BMR Pierre Naud Inc. is once again hitting the green in memory of Kayden to help even more families like his within their community and beyond.
Across Canada, thousands of seriously ill children and their families turn to Starlight Canada during their most difficult moments. Donate today at give.starlightcanada.org to give them something they can count on, or host a fundraiser of your own.
Are you a Starlight family wanting to help other families like yours? Kayden’s family did it, and so can you. Visit Families for Families today.
A special congratulations to Valerie and Kevin for recently welcoming newborn twins to their family!