Sault couple wants to make life easier for parents with sick children
Every year, people from northern Ontario need to travel to southern Ontario for medical appointments. It can be tiring and expensive.
Three years ago, the Lefave family in Sault Ste. Marie spent four months in Toronto and now they want to help other families going through that experience.
“We've been that family, we've been through that process,” said Karen Lefave. “In 2014, our daughters, our twin daughters (Charlie and Georgia) were born two and a half months early, so they pretty much spent the first four months of their life in Sick Kids in Mount Sinai in Toronto.”
The Lefaves have decided to start up their own not for profit charity, the Twinkie Foundation; helping families that need to travel to southern Ontario for their children’s medical needs.
“A big reason why I wanted to start the Twinkie Foundation is we were lucky, we had some savings, you know and we had some air miles stocked up, so I could afford to travel for the majority of the weekends they were down there,” said Greg Lefave.
Greg said that is not the case for everyone and when you’re concerned about your child’s health, the last thing he said parents should be worried about are bills.
“I'm constantly thinking about those families that struggle financially and they have those minute by minute babies where the dad in my shoes couldn't afford to travel and missed out on that one extra day, those two extra days. It's haunting sometimes to think about that."
According to sick kids, the Lefave's are not alone when it comes to traveling for medical help.
“In the past two years, they have had close to 800 unique patient visits from children in Sault Ste. Marie, so that’s a stat that staggered me and that’s just Sick Kids.”
The Lefave's know they won't be able to help everyone, but they want to help as many as possible.
The couple’s first fundraising event to help raise money for their charity is scheduled for May 7th; a pancake breakfast at Superior Heights.