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Ring in the season of giving on Giving Tuesday

Tuesday November 22, 2022

Donors help children like Atticus get the leading edge care they need, close to home at Southlake

Tuesday, November 29, is Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving, established in 2012 to encourage people to “do good” by supporting the charities that are meaningful to them. As many of us tackle the last of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, Evelyn D’Orazio is grateful to be gearing up for another holiday season with her six-year-old son Atticus, thanks to Southlake Regional Health Centre. Last May, he rang Southlake’s Be a Hero bell three times to mark the end of his cancer treatment ꟷ “the third ring was the loudest,” Atticus said proudly at the time.

Atticus was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – a blood cancer – in February 2019. He’s been through a lot in three and a half years, and his team at Southlake’s Paediatric Oncology Clinic has been by his side every step of the way. Southlake clinicians and staff save countless patients’ lives every year. Giving Tuesday is your chance to help us continue to do just that, deliver leading-edge care, right here, close to home.

When Atticus rang the bell, his paediatric oncology nurses were there to cheer him on, along with many other members of his incredible care team who helped save his young life.

“Tears of joy and gratitude sprang to my eyes when the bell rang,” said Evelyn. “My husband Clem and I are so grateful. We want to bring awareness to the exceptional and uniquely compassionate care Atticus received at Southlake. We don’t know what we would have done if we needed to travel downtown. It’s much less stressful to come here instead of commuting long distances to receive the care he needed.”

“If you’ve ever received care at Southlake, you know just how important it is to receive world-class health care in your own community,” says Jennifer Ritter, President and CEO, Southlake Foundation. “But, it’s more than just the drive. Southlake provides a welcoming and personalized approach. Our talented physicians and staff get to know the children, and their families, treating them like their own. For extremely worried parents, the compassionate care they find here, close to home, means everything.”

Evelyn and her husband, Clem, are so appreciative of the care Atticus received during his treatment that their friends established a golf tournament in his name to fundraise for Southlake. The Atticus Annual Golf Tournament raised over $15,000  and according to Evelyn, the family will continue with the annual fundraiser for as long as possible.

In the spirit of the giving season, they are sharing their story in support of Southlake’s Giving Tuesday Campaign.

“Southlake has done so much for our family, and we want to give back,” said Clem. “The truth is, Southlake counts on your support more than you may know. Government funding only covers a portion of what they need to provide the exceptional care that our community deserves. Southlake counts on donors to give kids like our Atticus the most advanced treatments and very best care, which is only possible with the most advanced tools. They need our help to give help.”

“Atticus is a superhero. He is so strong and inspires us every single day. We are so proud of him for bravely completing his treatment, and we’re really excited that he can now focus on being a kid,” continues Evelyn.

On Giving Tuesday, Southlake sincerely thanks all of our caring and generous donors who help many patients like Atticus get the leading-edge care they need, close to home.

To donate, visit southlake.ca/givingtuesday

Atticus ringing the Be a Here bell with his pediatric oncology nurses.