Why these Tim Hortons store owners support the health of Island kids
For Victoria residents, Kelly and Shaun, giving back to their local community at their four Tim Hortons store locations is a personal and professional highlight. As long-time supporters of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island through Tim Hortons’ annual Smile Cookie Week, they are always thrilled to support a cause close to their hearts – the health of Island kids.
In 2008, Kelly learned she was pregnant. The couple was overjoyed to find out that they would soon become first-time parents of not one, but three little ones.
Early in her pregnancy, doctors shared that it was highly unlikely that all three triplets would survive. Kelly went on bedrest at only 20 weeks and learned that only two of the triplets were receiving the nutrients they needed to develop. At 26 weeks, baby Cadence passed away in-utero.
One month later, babies, Conor, and Keira were born and were quickly whisked away to the most intensive care section of Victoria General Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Kelly and Shaun couldn’t even hold their babies.
The newborn preemies were fighters, facing complication after complication in the following weeks. Keira moved back and forth between the highest and lowest levels of care in the NICU, while little Conor needed surgery before he could go home.
“The first night of having Keira home was terrifying. I sat beside her the whole night. It was so scary that she wasn’t attached to a machine that tells you if her heart stops beating or she stops breathing. I just didn’t trust that she would be okay,” remembers Kelly.
Once both babies were safely at home with their parents, the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health (QA) became involved in their health journeys. As part of QA’s infant development program, Conor and Keira received physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.
“The staff at QA told us that we wouldn’t know the full extent of any development delays resulting from their premature birth until they were five years old,” says Kelly. “It was such a comfort having them look out for those concerns. They gave so much support to our family while we were grieving Cadence and were always there to listen.”
While Conor and Keira are now healthy and thriving 12-year-olds with a seven-year-old sister, Alexis, their early childhood experiences mean that Kelly and Shaun have a strong compassion for Island families needing health care. They have been proud to support the health of Island families through Tim Hortons’ Smile Cookie Week fundraiser for the last seven years.
“We love that Smile Cookie Week provides the Victoria Owner Group with the opportunity to bring awareness to Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. It’s such an important cause in our local Island community.”
You can be a champion for the health of every Island family-like Kelly and Shaun. By supporting the area of greatest need, you can ensure that Island kids have access to the health care they need to thrive in their early childhood development.