Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation

April 28, 2009 10:04 ET

Helping kids with cancer just be kids

Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation makes being a kid fun all over again

Attention: Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - April 28, 2009) - It's never good when a person discovers they have cancer; it's tragic when it's a child - Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation changes all that - they provide a little sunshine for a child at a time when their life seems the darkest.

In the last two years, Canadian Sunshine Kids has paid all the costs for our Canadian kids to go on trips to Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

These are life changing events for children with cancer.

"It was such a great trip! I actually had a chance to feel like a kid again," says Jennifer Dunlap, a Sunshine kid. "I haven't felt that in a really long time!"

Although not officially registered in Canada until 2004, the Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation has been adding quality of life to children with cancer for over seven years - providing them with exciting, positive group activities that help them do what kids are supposed to do, have fun and celebrate life.

"If you've ever had cancer, or known someone with cancer, then you understand some of the difficulties they experience," says Pat Melhuish, National Chairperson, Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation and Real Estate Broker with Prudential Real Estate. "But when a child has cancer, everything gets turned up a notch; they can have feelings of isolation, of not belonging, including self-esteem issues brought on by the fact that they are often held back from participating with the rest of children their age - the emotional lows can be devastating to their recovery."

The Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation works to boost a patient's morale by getting them away for a week's vacation; all expenses paid. The difference made in children's lives, is unmistakable.

"I realized, I am not alone," says Steve Jones, Sunshine Kid. "These other kids have the same problems I do, if not worse. If they can handle it, then I can too."

Established in 1982, Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to North American children with cancer. It provides positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients, relying entirely upon personal contributions, corporations and foundations for funding.

"Donations are essential to the Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation and if it weren't for Prudential offices across Canada holding fundraising events throughout the year, we wouldn't be able to fulfill our mandate," says Pat Melhuish. "Ninety-five per cent of all funds raised annually by Sunshine Kids go directly to benefit our kids."

For the first time, the Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation is having a "Big Top Gala" a Circus themed dinner and dance on Friday May 29, at the Capitol Banquet Centre in Mississauga. For more information see www.sunshinekidsfoundation.ca IN: HEALTH, OTHER

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