Kiwanis steps up for McMaster Children's Hospital and the Thompson family of Winona

Community Nov 23, 2016 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

At age two, Anthony Thompson suffered from debilitating epileptic seizures.

Diagnosed with Myoclonic astatic epilepsy – a disease with no known cause – his parents Ian and Melissa tried putting him on new medications and a special ketogenic diet, but nothing seemed to work.

Meanwhile, Anthony’s seizures continued, with over 25 daily episodes.

“His head would just drop and he’d hit the table or he’d hit the ground,” said Ian. “He’d have bruises all over his head.”

The Thompsons, who live in Winona, feared Anthony’s epilepsy would impact his physical and intellectual development.

Luckily, they met Dr. Gabriel Ronen at McMaster University Children’s Hospital, who put Anthony on prednisone therapy.

Ian said Anthony has been seizure-free for four years.

“It was at a crucial point and (Dr. Ronen) was able to stop it. Because if he didn’t (Anthony) was going to be in a lot of trouble,” said Ian.

To show their gratitude, the Thompson family began organizing what has become an annual dinner/dance, called An Evening of Awareness.

The event has raised over $150,000 in four years. The next Evening of Awareness will be held on April 21, 2017 at the Grand Olympia in Stoney Creek. This year’s fundraising goal is $80,000.

Last year the fundraiser financed electroencephalogram (EEG) upgrades at a cost of $28,000 for the pediatric intensive care unit at Mac Kids. EEG is a test used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain.

This year, the Thompsons hope to raise $38,000 for the purchase of a cerebral function monitor for Mac Kids’ neonatal ICU.

Remaining funds will support Ronen’s ongoing epilepsy research.

Last year, during Kiwanis International’s 100th anniversary celebrations in Hamilton, the Thompsons made quite an impression with the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada.

After speaking at Kiwanis’ anniversary gala at the request of Hamilton Kiwanis member Ken Chartrand, the foundation pledged $10,000 for Ian and Melissa’s charitable work.

Chartrand, president of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton Inc., said the contribution towards McMaster Children’s Hospital alligns with the Kiwanis mission to help children around the world.

“It was an extremely heart-felt speech that basically brought to light how little funding is done for some of these causes that are extremely important,” said Chartrand. “Epilepsy research is worldwide and we just happen to have a world-renowned doctor at McMaster who has done incredible research that has helped (the Thompsons’) son.”

Parker Neale, development officer for McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, said a new cerebral function monitor would help the hospital’s medical team stay on top of changing seizure patterns in patients.

“Being able to detect and control the seizures of these tiny babies is incredibly important to their future health and development,” Neale said in a sponsorship letter.

Neale also notes that while the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care supports capital projects, it does not provide sufficient funds for the specialized, state-of-the-art equipment needed by some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients.

“Therefore, we must rely on the generosity of the community to ensure that our health care teams possess the necessary tools in order to provide optimal care to our patients,” he said.

Kiwanis steps up for McMaster Children's Hospital and the Thompson family of Winona

Community Nov 23, 2016 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

At age two, Anthony Thompson suffered from debilitating epileptic seizures.

Diagnosed with Myoclonic astatic epilepsy – a disease with no known cause – his parents Ian and Melissa tried putting him on new medications and a special ketogenic diet, but nothing seemed to work.

Meanwhile, Anthony’s seizures continued, with over 25 daily episodes.

“His head would just drop and he’d hit the table or he’d hit the ground,” said Ian. “He’d have bruises all over his head.”

The Thompsons, who live in Winona, feared Anthony’s epilepsy would impact his physical and intellectual development.

Luckily, they met Dr. Gabriel Ronen at McMaster University Children’s Hospital, who put Anthony on prednisone therapy.

Ian said Anthony has been seizure-free for four years.

“It was at a crucial point and (Dr. Ronen) was able to stop it. Because if he didn’t (Anthony) was going to be in a lot of trouble,” said Ian.

To show their gratitude, the Thompson family began organizing what has become an annual dinner/dance, called An Evening of Awareness.

The event has raised over $150,000 in four years. The next Evening of Awareness will be held on April 21, 2017 at the Grand Olympia in Stoney Creek. This year’s fundraising goal is $80,000.

Last year the fundraiser financed electroencephalogram (EEG) upgrades at a cost of $28,000 for the pediatric intensive care unit at Mac Kids. EEG is a test used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain.

This year, the Thompsons hope to raise $38,000 for the purchase of a cerebral function monitor for Mac Kids’ neonatal ICU.

Remaining funds will support Ronen’s ongoing epilepsy research.

Last year, during Kiwanis International’s 100th anniversary celebrations in Hamilton, the Thompsons made quite an impression with the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada.

After speaking at Kiwanis’ anniversary gala at the request of Hamilton Kiwanis member Ken Chartrand, the foundation pledged $10,000 for Ian and Melissa’s charitable work.

Chartrand, president of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton Inc., said the contribution towards McMaster Children’s Hospital alligns with the Kiwanis mission to help children around the world.

“It was an extremely heart-felt speech that basically brought to light how little funding is done for some of these causes that are extremely important,” said Chartrand. “Epilepsy research is worldwide and we just happen to have a world-renowned doctor at McMaster who has done incredible research that has helped (the Thompsons’) son.”

Parker Neale, development officer for McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, said a new cerebral function monitor would help the hospital’s medical team stay on top of changing seizure patterns in patients.

“Being able to detect and control the seizures of these tiny babies is incredibly important to their future health and development,” Neale said in a sponsorship letter.

Neale also notes that while the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care supports capital projects, it does not provide sufficient funds for the specialized, state-of-the-art equipment needed by some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients.

“Therefore, we must rely on the generosity of the community to ensure that our health care teams possess the necessary tools in order to provide optimal care to our patients,” he said.

Kiwanis steps up for McMaster Children's Hospital and the Thompson family of Winona

Community Nov 23, 2016 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

At age two, Anthony Thompson suffered from debilitating epileptic seizures.

Diagnosed with Myoclonic astatic epilepsy – a disease with no known cause – his parents Ian and Melissa tried putting him on new medications and a special ketogenic diet, but nothing seemed to work.

Meanwhile, Anthony’s seizures continued, with over 25 daily episodes.

“His head would just drop and he’d hit the table or he’d hit the ground,” said Ian. “He’d have bruises all over his head.”

The Thompsons, who live in Winona, feared Anthony’s epilepsy would impact his physical and intellectual development.

Luckily, they met Dr. Gabriel Ronen at McMaster University Children’s Hospital, who put Anthony on prednisone therapy.

Ian said Anthony has been seizure-free for four years.

“It was at a crucial point and (Dr. Ronen) was able to stop it. Because if he didn’t (Anthony) was going to be in a lot of trouble,” said Ian.

To show their gratitude, the Thompson family began organizing what has become an annual dinner/dance, called An Evening of Awareness.

The event has raised over $150,000 in four years. The next Evening of Awareness will be held on April 21, 2017 at the Grand Olympia in Stoney Creek. This year’s fundraising goal is $80,000.

Last year the fundraiser financed electroencephalogram (EEG) upgrades at a cost of $28,000 for the pediatric intensive care unit at Mac Kids. EEG is a test used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain.

This year, the Thompsons hope to raise $38,000 for the purchase of a cerebral function monitor for Mac Kids’ neonatal ICU.

Remaining funds will support Ronen’s ongoing epilepsy research.

Last year, during Kiwanis International’s 100th anniversary celebrations in Hamilton, the Thompsons made quite an impression with the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada.

After speaking at Kiwanis’ anniversary gala at the request of Hamilton Kiwanis member Ken Chartrand, the foundation pledged $10,000 for Ian and Melissa’s charitable work.

Chartrand, president of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton Inc., said the contribution towards McMaster Children’s Hospital alligns with the Kiwanis mission to help children around the world.

“It was an extremely heart-felt speech that basically brought to light how little funding is done for some of these causes that are extremely important,” said Chartrand. “Epilepsy research is worldwide and we just happen to have a world-renowned doctor at McMaster who has done incredible research that has helped (the Thompsons’) son.”

Parker Neale, development officer for McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, said a new cerebral function monitor would help the hospital’s medical team stay on top of changing seizure patterns in patients.

“Being able to detect and control the seizures of these tiny babies is incredibly important to their future health and development,” Neale said in a sponsorship letter.

Neale also notes that while the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care supports capital projects, it does not provide sufficient funds for the specialized, state-of-the-art equipment needed by some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients.

“Therefore, we must rely on the generosity of the community to ensure that our health care teams possess the necessary tools in order to provide optimal care to our patients,” he said.