SickKids Foundation

SickKids Foundation
Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope

Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope

May 11, 2013 13:10 ET

12th Annual Meagan's Walk Brings Out Thousands of Supporters

More than $3 million raised to date for brain tumour research at SickKids

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 11, 2013) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.

Today, thousands of families, friends and supporters joined the 12th annual Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope, a 5-kilometre walk that raises funds for paediatric brain tumour research at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

This year's event, proudly presented by Colliers International, started from a new location - historic Fort York - and ended at SickKids where all participants joined hands to form a human hug around the hospital. The money raised this year brings the total funds raised to more than $3 million since the walk began in 2001.

"We are so thankful to the thousands of people who continue to support Meagan's Walk every year," said Denise Bebenek, founder of Meagan's Walk and mother of Meagan Bebenek, who passed away from a cancerous brain tumour in 2001. "There are so many amazing doctors, researchers, volunteers, school groups and sponsors who are not only helping us raise much needed funds, but are spreading our message of hope to children around the world."

"Colliers International is pleased to be the presenting sponsor this year as it solidifies our involvement with Meagan's Walk on both a corporate level and a personal level as many of our employees are taking part in the event," said Ken Norris, Executive Managing Director, Colliers International.

There are many reasons why people participate in Meagan's Walk. Many share their moving and powerful stories including Holly Norris, captain of her high school walk team - De La Salle Team. "I walk because, without the incredible contribution of organizations like Meagan's Walk, my cousin would not be alive. After my family was touched by the illness, Meagan's Walk provided a hopeful atmosphere to rejoin in health and offer support to those still battling illness. Every year we end the Walk by joining hands around SickKids, and every year I am -- as I look up at the smiling faces of the sick children within the hospital -- humbled, and more vividly reminded of why I walk."

Proceeds from Meagan's Walk help support research projects and programs at SickKids, which has the only laboratory dedicated to paediatric brain tumour research in Canada, namely the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre.

"On behalf of everyone at SickKids, we are deeply grateful to Denise Bebenek, her family and the thousands of Meagan's Walk supporters who have achieved a new fundraising milestone in support of paediatric brain tumour research at SickKids," said Ted Garrard, President and CEO, SickKids Foundation. "We are thrilled to have Meagan's Walk as a key fundraising event during our second annual Healthy and Happy campaign in support of children's health this month."

Mothers with children currently at SickKids were honoured at the event and received a special gift from Swarovski Canada at the end of the walk.

"We are very proud to be part of the Circle of Hope and provide our support to Meagan's Walk and The Hospital for Sick Children," said Susan Wolfe, vice president, Swarovski Canada.

About Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope

Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope was founded by Denise Bebenek in 2001, the year she lost her cherished five-year-old daughter Meagan to a cancerous brain tumour. With the support of volunteers, school groups, sponsors and other supporters, Meagan's Walk raises funds for and awareness about paediatric brain tumours - the leading cause of cancer-related death in children and young adults under 20.

Our largest event is our annual Meagan's Walk. Each year thousands of participants gather on Mother's Day weekend for a 5-kilometre walk, culminating in a human hug around SickKids to send strength and love to those within. Our other events include an annual Gala and Crane Ceremony, and numerous school and community events throughout the year.

For more information or to find out how you can support Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope, call 416-239-7843, or visit http://www.meaganswalk.com.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20130511-mwsk.jpg

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