Fundraiser August 9, Toronto
TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - Baby Keira is fighting for her life.
Diagnosed in May, with cancer sarcoma above her right knee, the family
has learned that this one-year-old only has a 30 per cent chance of surviving.
Because of its aggressiveness, Keira is receiving chemotherapy to reduce
the tumor's size prior to LEG AMPUTATION on September 5. What's even more
troubling is that this cancer is very resistant to chemotherapy, AND chances
of it recurring are high.
Things truly look bleak, yet the family remains positive and optimistic.
"Doctors worry because babies are rarely diagnosed with Alveolar
Rhabdomyosarcoma, yet my daughter Daphne, and son-in-law, Al, are thankful
it's in Keira's leg and not her brain," said Grandmother Margaret Dalton. "We
feel somewhat comforted too, because top doctors across North America are
The Neal family will be fighting some tough roads financially as a number
of the medications that Keira needs are not covered by provincial health
insurance plans, nor are future prostheses. When faced with serious medical
situations such as this, all Canadians must pay exorbitant costs no matter
where they live. For example, one of the medications not covered by insurance
that regulates Keira's white blood count costs $750. It is administered once
every five days.
Instead of sitting and worrying, this spirited grandmother has been
organizing a Benefit to raise funds for Baby Keira, at her place of business,
Westmount Gallery, in Toronto's west end, Thursday, August 9, 6:00 p.m.
(88 Advance Road, 7 blocks south of Bloor, just west of Islington). For
tickets, contact Margaret at 416-239-5427; Cell: 416-436-1633;
www.westmountgallery.com; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margaret exclaims, "I can hardly believe the generosity of strangers.
When I visit local businesses and explain the circumstances and the Benefit
I'm planning, first I am met with tears, as many of these individuals have
felt first-hand what I'm going through. Then I'm offered amazingly generous
gifts that we can use for our auction."
Those attending the event will have the opportunity to win trips,
sporting goods, oil paintings, clothing, hosts of gift baskets, a
signed/framed Mats Sundin Maple Leaf hockey jersey, watches and jewellry,
restaurant meals, fur stoles, a family portrait, housewares, tools, gift
certificates, eyeglasses...the list is endless.
"My goal is that everyone in attendance be able to leave with something,
in addition to the parting gift that will be given to each person as they
Throughout the years, Keira's mom, Daphne, has played hockey with many of
the TORINO 2006 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS, WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY TEAM. In addition
to a fun-filled evening sampling hors d'oeuvres, libation, and winning draws,
raffles and auction items, Margaret is thrilled that CHERYL POUNDER will be
the featured speaker at the Benefit. Cheryl will be accompanied by team-mate
Becky Kellar and some surprise guests. You will even be able to have your
photo taken with these gold medal winners!
Your help is needed, too. Local Toronto CIBC branch Manager John Nawrocki
has worked tirelessly to open a trust account for Keira. DONATIONS CAN BE
MADE, at CIBC branches, payable to: MARGARET DALTON IN TRUST FOR KEIRA NEAL.
ACCOUNT No. 24-03730; TRANSIT NUMBER: 07722. Or send donations to CIBC,
Bloor & Willingdon Branch, 2990 Bloor St. W., Toronto, M8X1B9. (As Daphne's
AAA hockey team, BC Outback, has raised money for the family's living
expenses, this fund will strictly be used to pay for medical and rehab
The Keira Neal story is quickly gaining national attention. Daphne, who
grew up in Mississauga, now lives with her family in Fairmont Hot Springs,
British Columbia. And Keira is currently receiving amazing care at Calgary's
Alberta Children's Hospital.
"I receive daily calls from Daphne, Al, and my three-year-old grandson,
Ryan. In addition to getting updates on Keira, they tell me how other
communities are conducting fundraising events, too. For example, on the
July 20 weekend, White House Hotel, Windermere, B.C., held their annual White
House Classic Golf Tournament in support of Keira."
"Not only was a parade, golf tournament and silent auction held, yet can
you imagine, the community attended not one, but two dances: one on Friday,
and the other on Saturday night! All the proceeds were raised to help Keira!
And they plan to keep raising money in the months ahead. We are certainly
Margaret is astounded that people all over the country are concerned
about her granddaughter's care. She is cognizant that other families are
living similar stories. Some ask her, "What do you do when you obtain the
dreaded diagnosis? Where do you start?"
"If you Google 'cancer care' and the province you live in," says
Margaret, "you'll find websites that will assist you. It's a good idea for
families to contact a social worker when they start this CANCER journey to
help navigate the maze of required treatments and drugs. Simply go to
http://findasocialworker.ca/index.html and click on your province and city."
"Drug companies also have excellent websites that outline their
respective medications and financial assistance programs for those whose
employers do not provide drug plans. For example, the drug Eprex is
administered to some cancer patients who need to boost red blood cells: renal
(kidney) patients use it; and it's also used in hip surgery so patients don't
need blood transfusions. Most drug plans don't cover the cost of this
medication, nor do provincial health care programs."
Margaret goes on to report that many small business owners without
corporate health plans would have a difficult time financially if they got
cancer. And we all know the percentage of small business owners in Canada...
Margaret worries that as Keira gets older, she will quickly outgrow
shoes, and will regularly need different prosthetics for everything she does:
walking, swimming, playing hockey, etc. Currently War Amps pays for sport
prosthetics, yet she wonders if great programs like this one will continue in
And the family has to cover the cost of ALL walking prosthetics: growing
children need new prosthetics on an ongoing basis.
As the road to recovery is long, the family asks you to continue the
fundraising momentum, to alleviate the cost of hospital treatment and
prostheses that Keira will need in the future. Please donate to CIBC and
attend any KEIRA NEAL fundraising events held throughout the country.
A donation of $10 would be appreciated at the Westmount Gallery Benefit.
For further information:
For further information: Lorne Hailstone, Christine Kuch-Hailstone, KUCH
COMMUNICATIONS, Tel: (416) 233-8688, E-Mail: email@example.com