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About a year ago we were vacationing with our friends, Dick and Margriet Huisman, when they received a call from their daughter, Danielle. It was the kind of call that none of us ever want to receive. Danielle’s five year old stepdaughter (Diamond Marshall) had just been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer and was in Alberta Children’s Hospital. Since that time, Diamond has had numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as several surgeries and a stem cell transplant. Happily, Diamond is now home and appears to be “on the mend”.
Last summer when the Prince William and Princess Kate arrived at the Calgary International Airport to attend the Calgary Stampede, Diamond’s plight became headline news when she presented flowers to the Princess. You may have seen the now famous photograph of this little girl (bald from the chemotherapy) shyly handing her flowers to the Princess.
Diamond’s parents are Lyall and Danielle Marshall. Lyall previously lost his first wife, Memory (Diamond’s natural mother) to cancer. This whole journey for the Marshall/Huisman family has been extraordinarily difficult, both medically and emotionally, but it is the plight of families throughout Alberta when their child is diagnosed with cancer.
Their traumatic experience has “brought home” to us that we are so fortunate to have the Alberta Children’s Hospital and its “world class” medical team right here in Calgary. However, it is in need of additional equipment and resources to help it fulfill its life saving mission.
To help answer this need, Lyall and 40 of his pals (the "Oilympics", who have been skating for cancer previously) decided to up the ante. Their goal is to raise $1,500,000 for the Oncology Program and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and they want to do it by breaking the Guinness World Record for the Longest Hockey Game every played. Breaking the record will require incredible stamina. But the cause is clearly worth it. The funds raised will be used for lifesaving equipment and research in pediatric cancer at the Alberta Children’s Hospital here in Calgary. They have already raised about $390,000.
Susan and I (with a new granddaughter ourselves) have joined them. Diamond's story has helped us realize how precious these little ones are to us. We sincerely hope that you will join us as well.
To help reach this goal, Susan and I are asking for your help and in particular, your financial help. If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, please push the "Donate Now" button at the top of the thermometer and follow the instructions.
Of course, you can always donate by phone to Melissa Chappell @ (403) 955-8822 or by cheque mailed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2888 Shaganappi Trail N.W., Calgary T3B 6A8 (please reference the Hockey Marathon for the Kids on the cheque).
Here is a Global TV news clip about the event:
Thank you for your support.
Bob and Susan Iverach
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