During these tough economic times it is too easy to get swept away by the general mood. I spent my Friday evening with people who had faced down cruel adversity and created something extraordinary.
I was at the Liberty Grand (with a thousand other people) as guest speaker. I was to talk about Meaghan’s Walk, which has raised nearly $1 million dollars for brain research at Sick Kids’ Hospital, Toronto, including $50,000 by TD Waterhouse. CTV was there to film the event and I was worried I would be caught on TV, struggling to finish my speech, caught up in the emotion of how the fund raiser began.
Meaghan’s Walk was created by Dennis Bebenek, who lost her five year old daughter to brain cancer but wanted to make this tragedy into something positive, and so she created a walk and fundraiser for Sick Kids' Hospital.
As Dr. Eric Bouffet spoke about how, as he phrased it, seed money from Bebenek’s efforts had been used for research that would not have happened otherwise, it became clear that medicine also needs its private equity, higher risk money. Dr. Bouffet emphasized that the money raised meant ideas that were not as main stream were researched and with good results. Bebenek’s drive to pursue her purpose for her daughter’s memory has achieved far more than government funding alone.