Help Kids Like Marley With OHL Playoffs Ultimate 50/50

Between episodes of Paw Patrol and singing two-year-old Marley’s favourite silly songs, Marley’s parents noticed something different – Marley’s colour was changing – she seemed so much paler. Soon, Marley’s mood changed. She went from her happy, bubbly self to irritable. Something was wrong.

Suspecting an iron deficiency, Marley’s paediatrician ordered a routine blood test. Two hours later, Marley’s parents received a call telling them to go immediately to the hospital. Her hemoglobin was dangerously low.

At the hospital, Marley was admitted for further testing. It took five days. Five days of scans, pokes and prods. Five days of strange hospital beds and upset routines. Five days of a worried family waiting for answers. And at two years old, Marley received her first blood transfusion.

Finally, Dr. Tole and the Children’s Hospital team had a diagnosis: Diamond-Blackfan Anemia (DBA), a condition in which Marley’s bone marrow doesn’t allow her body to create red blood cells.

DBA is a chronic condition without a cure. Marley will need transfusions and treatments regularly for the rest of her life. Every four weeks, Marley spends six hours at Children’s Hospital, where expert physicians set her up for her transfusion, while other talented health care professionals like her Child Life Specialists Deborah and Bailey help her feel calm, safe, and distracted.

It makes all the difference for Marley to have friends like Bailey and Deborah in the hospital who play on the iPad, blow bubbles or even just talk her through her treatments really helps. Marley loves to be talked to and likes to know what is happening to her at her appointments!

Marley is just one of 1.9 million kids across Ontario who need their local Children’s Hospital each year. They all deserve the best possible care, including support from Child Life programs, and the most advanced tools in the hands of this province’s skilled medical professionals.

This year, you have an amazing opportunity to support Ontario’s children and have a chance of taking home a big prize at the same time with the OHL Playoffs Ultimate 50/50, a province-wide 50/50 draw spanning the entire length of the OHL playoffs.

All four of Ontario’s children’s hospitals will split the proceeds evenly and direct the funds toward the highest priority needs.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about the launch of the OHL Playoffs 50/50 program. Not only could you win a big jackpot, but you can help millions of kids along the way,” says Scott Fortnum, President and CEO, Children’s Health Foundation. “Each 50/50 ticket helps ensure our kids across the province have access to the best possible care at all four Ontario children’s hospitals. Thank you to the generous Ontario hockey fans for supporting our kids.”

“We are truly privileged to collaborate with Ontario Children’s Hospitals in efforts to raise funds,” said Matt Gergely, the OHL’s Director of Business Operations. “At the Ontario Hockey League, we recognize the profound significance of supporting these transformative Foundations. We eagerly anticipate the impact of the 50/50 campaign.”

Your support does have a significant impact for kids like Marley. Two years into treatment, at almost four years old, Marley is doing well with her transfusions. Day-to-day, no one would have any idea that she has DBA, and with a little bit of her favourite yogurt, she takes her medications twice a day to stay happy and healthy!

Together, we can help more kids like her. The OHL Playoffs Ultimate 50/50 runs until May 23, with the draw for the grand prize on May 24.

Share Your Children's Story