Hannah, just one of many lives you've helped to save.

At just 18 months old, Julia was diagnosed with a grapefruit sized tumor on her kidney (Nephroblastoma Cancer). The news was devastating for her family. Fortunately, Children's Hospital was there for Julia. Braving surgery, chemotherapy and other complications wasn't easy — but her family is grateful for "Julia's hospital".

Julia, Age 3, Stage II Wilms Tumor

Julia, Age 3, Stage 2 Wilms Tumor
The IMPACT your generosity had on CHILDREN's this year

2011 was truly a memorable year for Children's. From Children's Hospital welcoming the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to their new home, to the entire Children's family celebrating the grand opening of the new Children's Hospital to Children's Health Research Institute hosting the first ever Canadian Conference on Epigenetics. These milestones would not have been possible if not for your support and compassion for children.

This Gratitude Report outlines how your donations continue to help Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre and Children's Health Research Institute save lives. Thanks to your financial support in 2011, $4.8 million was granted to support paediatric health care and research.

You helped purchase much needed equipment to care for these children, including 52 new life-saving monitors for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. You supported programs like Child Life and Art Therapy that would not otherwise be possible. You provided scientists with the support they need to bring their findings to the bedside and treat our patients more effectively, so they can get better quicker and go home sooner. [continued]

Debbie Comuzzi, President and CEO with Hannah, and Michael Lerner, Chair, Board of Directors with Kate

"Thousands of children and their families have been impacted by your generosity."

The LIVES you helped to SAVE
  • Hannah, Age 1, Congenital Heart Defect

  • Avery, Age 4, Stickler Syndrome

  • Cooper, Age 6, Stickler Syndrome

  • Liam, Age 1, Born at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 8oz

  • Delaney, Age 9, born at 28 weeks and Shaina, Age 12, Biliary Atresia

  • William, Age 7, Born at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 7oz

Kaeleigh is surrounded by the many masks she made during her Art Therapy sessions while fighting cancer. These masks and the bravery beads she holds, helped her during her incredible health care journey.

Kaeleigh, Age 24
Cancer Survivor
– Ewing Sarcoma (at age 14)

Kaeleigh, Age 24 Cancer Survivor – Ewing Sarcoma 
(at age 14)
Your SUPPORT of specialized program helps children COPE with serious illnesses

Little Liam is truly a miracle baby. Weighing only 1lb 8oz when he was born, nothing could have prepared his parents for his arrival at only 24 weeks. After 92 days of constant care, Liam graduated from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and was able to go home with his mom and dad for the very first time.

Liam, Age 1,
Born at 24 weeks,
weighing 1lb 8oz

Liam, Age 1, Born at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 8oz
You GIVE because your BELIEVE in making a difference

Giving is a very impactful and rewarding way to make a lasting difference in the lives of children across the region. With vision and compassion, many individuals and companies have made the important decision to invest significantly in Children's. The ability to entrust your money to the right cause can have an incredible impact, far beyond your expectations.

Lloyd and Shirley Courtney and their family business, Courtney's Wholesale, have been very generous and committed supporters of Children's for 20 years. They have seen first hand, how their support has directly benefited children. Not only did their financial support help to build the new Children's Hospital, but their gifts have provided support for vital programs needed by the many children cared for each year.

By entrusting Children's with their gift, the Courtney's generosity has supported children and their families facing end of life issues, by strengthening the special Palliative Care services at Children's Hospital. In 2011, they supported the tiniest of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with the purchase of new life saving monitors. By supporting Children's, the Courtneys are helping children like little Liam, get better quicker and go home sooner. Because of their philanthropic beliefs, values and actions, the Courtneys play a vital role in helping countless children and their families.

From Lloyd Courtney

"Several years ago, Shirley and I decided to start supporting Children's Hospital because it's local and because we knew it was a great cause. We've been fortunate that none of our own family ever needed the expertise at Children's, but we want to play a role in helping this amazing Hospital be the best it can be for all children who do need it."

– Lloyd Courtney, Donor

As sisters who both needed special care at Children's Hospital, Delaney and Shaina share a tremendous bond of courage and hope. Delaney was born at just 28 weeks and Shaina, diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at birth, needed a liver transplant at 10 months. Today, they both still regularly visit Children's for checkups – often hand in hand.

Delaney, Age 9
Born at 28 weeks,
weighing 2 lbs 7oz

Shaina, Age 12
Biliary Atresia

Delaney, Age 9, Born at 28 weeks, weighing 2 lbs 7oz, Shaina, Age 12 
Biliary Atresia
You made the new Children's Hospital a reality
Travis Cudney cuts the ribbon and helps to open the new Children's Hospital

Travis Cudney cuts the ribbon and helps to open the new Children's Hospital

The new Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, truly a place of hope and healing, officially opened on September 27, 2011 — made possible by your incredible support. The new Children's Hospital provides children and their families with more space during their health care journey. The added bright natural light helps healing and shortens hospital stays. In addition to the technological conveniences for children and their families and the calming effects of nature, plants and water are evident throughout Children's Hospital. [continued]

From Bonnie

"The new home of Children's Hospital not only provides children and their families from across southwestern Ontario and portions of northwestern Ontario with the absolute best paediatric care available, but is an integral component of the entire London Health Sciences Centre organization. We are truly grateful to all those whose generosity helped make this dream a reality."

– Bonnie Adamson, President and Chief Executive Officer London Health Sciences Centre

"Truly a place of hope and healing"


[continued] The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was welcomed to Children's Hospital on June 5, 2011. The carefully orchestrated move of 23 fragile babies, and their caregivers from St. Joseph's Health Care London, to the 4th floor at Children's Hospital, was one of the final and most significant milestones celebrated along the journey to open the new Children's Hospital.

Generous donors from the Children's family opened their hearts in 2011 to welcome the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by supporting a major fundraising initiative to equip the unit with 52 brand new life-saving monitors. These monitors were needed as the older model previously used were over 13 years old and no longer compatible with the technology at the new Children's.

Because of your generosity, this initiative, which was originally expected to take two years to fulfill, was completed in just one year. These vital pieces of equipment are now working night and day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, helping over 700 pre-term and seriously ill babies each year.

These historic changes to the face of children's health care are the result of many years of careful planning, dedication and passion.

But more importantly these two incredible milestones were made possible by a community and region that embraced the idea of a dedicated hospital specifically designed to care for sick and injured children. The new Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre — because of you, it is now a reality.

Hannah was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at only 12 days old – resulting in emergency open heart surgery. As she grows, Hannah will continue to be monitored closely by the health care team at Children's. Today, Hannah is a smiling, happy toddler and truly a little miracle!

Hannah, Age 1
Congenital Heart Defect

Hannah, Age 1, Congenital Heart Defect
Every month YOU help SAVE lives

At 12 days old, Hannah's parents, Rachel and Nick took her to their local Emergency Department concerned about their newborn's high fever. While she appeared fine, low oxygen levels prompted the paediatrician examining her to contact the specialists at Children's Hospital. Moments later, Hannah was on her way to Children's Hospital and was immediately rushed in to have an echocardiogram.

This relatively routine procedure lasted almost two hours. When Dr. Herschel C. Rosenberg, Division Head of Paediatric Cardiology at Children's Hospital, met with Hannah's parents, he told them that he was astounded that she had survived to this point. Hannah had two holes in her heart and both her main arteries were attached backwards. This was devastating news for her parents – going from just having Hannah's one-week check up and everything being fine, to Hannah now needing life saving open-heart surgery.

After several procedures, including another heart operation in 2011, Hannah is doing well and is home with her family. It's amazing true life stories like this, that demonstrate the impact donations have on the lives of so many children like Hannah.

Children's Circle of Caring Hearts monthly giving program is one of the most effective and meaningful ways to give.

Giving monthly helps children like Hannah by supporting life-saving health care and vital research for sick and injured children. The Circle of Caring Hearts program ensures that Children's Hospital has the necessary funding needed to support and continue the much needed programs that will help save and improve the lives of children.

Thank you to all of our Circle of Caring Hearts' donors for your kindness and generosity.

From Hannah's Mom

"If not for Children's Hospital, Hannah wouldn't be here."

– Rachel, Hannah's mom

Born at 24 weeks, tiny William weighing only 1lb 7oz, wasn't expected to live through his first night. It was eight long weeks before his mom could hold him. He finally went home after spending his first four months of life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Thanks to Children's, William is now a happy, energetic little boy!

William, Age 7
Born at 24 weeks,
weighing 1lb 7oz

William, Age 7, Born at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 7oz
Your support of children's research 
      makes a global impact on sick children and youth

As one of the rapidly growing areas in biomedical research, epigenetics is involved in virtually all aspects of health and disease – and at every stage of life. Epigenetics plays an essential role in the growth and development of babies from the point of conception through childhood. With several International initiatives underway, scientists at Children's Health Research Institute identified the synergies between existing epigenetics research, the need to develop new international initiatives and the establishment of collaborative networks for epigenetics research.

In May 2011, the first ever Canadian Conference on Epigenetics was held in London, Ontario. The conference brought together a cross-section of Canadian and International epigenetics researchers to interact, collaborate and strategize around this far-reaching field of research.

Educational sessions were led by world recognized leaders in their field, providing cutting-edge insight into the latest advancement of epigenetics research. Canadian scientists were also selected to profile epigenetics research and accomplishments across Canada.

Over 230 scientists, trainees, and leading researchers participated. The host institutions for this Conference included Western University, Children's Health Foundation and WORLDiscoveries, the business development arm of London's extensive research network.

Thanks to your support, the profile and accomplishments of Children's Health Research Institute was raised to a national level, supporting the important research accomplishments and work of their vibrant and talented scientists. Your support of these dedicated scientists will directly benefit children for years to come.

From Dr. David Rodenhiser

"We truly appreciated the support for our research provided to us by the donors to Children's Health Foundation. We're proud of our Foundation funded research, we know that we are making important scientific contributions to child health and that these advances are the result of the efforts by the donors who support our research."

– Dr. David I. Rodenhiser, PhD, Scientist,
Children's Health Research Institute

Both born with Stickler Syndrome, Cooper and Avery have learned to live with this genetic disorder. Today, Children's Hospital continues to provide the care they need, while Children's Health Research Institute works tirelessly to find the causes and cures of countless childhood diseases that affect our children.

Cooper, Age 6

Avery, Age 4
Stickler Syndrome

Cooper, Age 6, Avery, Age 4, Stickler Syndrome
You give today, to raise hope for the future

Avery and Cooper were both born with Stickler Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause facial abnormalities, as well as serious vision, hearing and joint problems.

Cooper's vision deteriorated when he was very young and at one point he required surgery for a detached retina and cataract. For Avery, the disorder caused cleft palate and Pierre Robin Sequence, making it difficult for her to breathe and swallow. By naming Children's in their Will, donors like Peter and Laura Sweeney are helping to create a legacy of hope for children like Cooper and Avery.

From Laura contracting polio as a young child, to losing Peter's sister to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the loss of Laura's son to muscular dystrophy, the Sweeney's have first-hand experience with the difficult and life-altering effects of childhood diseases.

Yet, their heart wrenching journey inspired them to make a legacy gift that would help other children and give hope to their families. Behind every legacy gift, is a personal story – a tribute to a loved one, a declaration of hope, or maybe a gift of thanks. Children's Health Foundation is grateful for the support of donors like Peter and Laura Sweeney, who are helping provide the support needed for Children's to deliver the very best family centered care possible, for today and tomorrow.

From Peter Sweeney

"Laura and I give regularly to Children's because we want to help turn a new page for children and their families. We know what it is like. And I have also put Children's in my Will to support research that I hope will help prevent suffering for future generations of children. It's important to me to be able to help other families."

– Peter Sweeney, Donor

Children believe in the POWER of philanthropy
Children holding giant donation cheque

(L-R) Sarah, Alex and Emma Ouelett

The Ouellet children know how important giving is — and because they do, it makes an incredible difference in their lives and more importantly, the lives of many other children.

Philanthropy is a big word to a child, however, it is one that many children have come to understand and love. Once the definition of philanthropy is taught, children creatively learn ways they can make a difference in the lives of others.

Twins Emma and Alex were introduced to the importance of Children Raising Hope for Children's Hospital on the day they were born.

Today, they continue to give on that same day year after year. Instead of birthday presents, Emma and Alex ask their guests to bring donations for Children's Hospital. Since beginning the tradition, Emma and Alex have raised more than $1,300.00. The twins have also recruited their younger sister Sarah, to eagerly raise money for Children's.

Children's Health Foundation recognizes the value and importance of fostering young philanthropists. Signature events like the Children's Magical Winter Ball allows families the opportunity to share with their children the importance of Raising Hope at Children's Hospital and Children's Health Research Institute.

Children helping Children's is a powerful indicator of what's possible when children get involved.

From Emma, Alex and Sarah

"Bringing money to the hospital makes us feel good to know that we can help other kids get better!"

– Emma, Alex and Sarah, Donors

Pie charts showing how donations were used in 2011
How YOUR donations were used in 2011

In 2011, because of your generosity, $4.8 million was granted to Children's Hospital and Children's Health Research Institute:

  • $1,408,000 to specialized services and programs like Child Life and Art Therapy;
  • $1,748,000 for specialized medical equipment including 52 lifesaving monitors for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit;
  • $946,000 towards critical child health research into the causes and cures of child illnesses and diseases like epilepsy and traumatic brain injuries, and
  • $677,000 for child health care priorities, such as childhood obesity, epigenetics, quality of life and chronic illnesses.

Your donations play a vital role in the lives of countless sick and injured children and their families. Donations bridge the gap between what is needed to deliver the very best paediatric health care, programs, services, specialized equipment, education and research, not provided for by government funding.

Children's Health Foundation is committed to raising money for Children's Hospital and Children's Health Research Institute in the most effective and efficient manner possible. In 2011, the cost per dollar raised was $0.33 - in line with both industry standards and Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.

Our board of directors 2010-2011

Children's Health Foundation is fortunate to continue to benefit from the strategic vision and experience of its volunteer Board of Directors. Recruited from the communities Children's serves, the Board of Directors continuously evaluates the Foundation's accomplishments to the goals and objectives set out in the Children's Health Foundation's strategic plan — including the detailed review of grant requests, allocation of funding, budget review process and the ongoing monitoring of expenses.


  • Michael Lerner
    Chair – Partner, Lerners LLP
  • Paul Guenette
    Vice Chair – CertaPro Painters
  • Susan Nickle
    Vice Chair – Lawyer, Wortzman
    Nickle Professional Corporation
  • Tracy Gustafson
    Treasurer – Chartered Accountant
  • Debbie Comuzzi
    Secretary (non-voting)
    President and CEO,
    Children's Health Foundation


  • Dr. George Aiello
    Dental Surgeon, Interface Centre
    for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Kirk Baines
    London Health Sciences Foundation
    Board Representative
  • Janet Christensen
    President, Dynamic Awareness Inc.
  • Michelle Faysal
    London Health Sciences Centre
    Board Representative
  • Adam Hopper
    Vice President of Finance,
    Bio Agri Mix LP
  • Nadia M. Joseph
    Manager, TD Ameritrade
  • Jennifer MacDonald
    Chief Operating Officer,
    Agri-THERM Inc.
  • Paul Paolatto
    Executive Director, WORLDiscoveries
  • Craig Postons
    Owner, PathWay Communications Inc.
  • Ellen Rosen
    Consultant, Retired Health Care Executive
  • Kristina Shaw
    Partner, Miller Thomson LLP
  • David Woodward
    Partner, Lerners LLP


  • Bonnie Adamson
    President and CEO,
    London Health Sciences Centre
  • Laurie Gould
    Executive Vice President,
    Patient Centred Care,
    London Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Guido Filler
    Department of Paediatrics,
    Children's Hospital,
    London Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Victor Han
    Director, Children's Health
    Research Institute
  • Dr. Leslie Scott
    Department of Paediatric Surgery,
    Children's Hospital,
    London Health Sciences Centre
  • Val Rousom
    Director, Children's Care,
    Children's Hospital,
    London Health Sciences Centre

Our Mission

Children's Health Foundation is dedicated to raising and granting funds to support specialized health care and research for children and youth – now and in the future.

Our Vision

When prospective donors think of a financial gift to help sick children, we want them to identify Children's Health Foundation as their first point of contact and ensure that there is immediate access for them to make their donation.

Our Values

  • Committed to children
  • Focused on our donors
  • Focused on the community
  • Strategically driven
  • Transparent and accountable

Avery holding Thank You sign that says click here below