We can’t change the destination, but we can make the journey a little easier.
|Leeanne Cusack of CTV Ottawa and Rob Faulds of Rogers Sportsnet will again be the co-hosts for the annual Telethon for Roger's House, which begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and runs through Sportsnet's broadcast of the Ottawa Senators-Toronto Maple Leafs game at Scotiabank Place (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photogrpahy/OSHC).
– Roger’s House volunteer
Join the Sens Foundation on Tuesday, when it brings you the seventh annual Telethon for Roger’s House presented by CN live from Scotiabank Place at 6:30 p.m. on Rogers Sportsnet. Leanne Cusack of CTV Ottawa and Rob Faulds of Rogers Sportsnet will serve as hosts of the annual event as the Ottawa Senators host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final chapter of the Battle of Ontario.
Built in memory of beloved hockey coach Roger Neilson, Roger’s House opened its doors to young patients in 2005. It provides comprehensive pediatric respite and palliative care, as well as family support services.
Throughout the telethon, viewers will meet some remarkable people, including current patients and members of their families. You will see firsthand how Roger’s House enriches their lives through support, care and assessments by a specialized team of medical professionals.
Chris Harkness, a 12-year old suffering from Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, will join Faulds and Cusack live in-studio during the much-anticipated broadcast. Chris, a resident of South River, Ont., a small town located outside of North Bay, has been a patient at Roger’s House several times over the last four years. Despite treatments, the disease will gradually rob Chris of the use of his muscles and his ability to move about.
“It absolutely rocked my world,” said Chris’s father, Derek Harkness, after learning of his son’s illness. The father of four cannot emphasize enough how much “peace of mind” Roger’s House gives the family. “When we’re here, Chris is well cared for and my wife and I can rejuvenate in order to get through the next few months. We try not to think too far ahead. The staff encourages us to enjoy our time together and live one day at a time.”
During a recent stay at Roger’s House, Chris met honorary chair and Senators centre Mike Fisher. While familiar with the house, Fisher could not pass up the opportunity to see the facility through a patient’s eyes and took a guided tour alongside Chris. Viewers who tune in to the broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet can join Chris and Fisher, and take part in the fun.
Missy and Sue Lumley-Pfiel, parents blessed with a beautiful little girl named Zoey who requires ongoing support and care from Roger’s House, will also share their story throughout the telethon. Content with the size of their family, the Lumley-Pfiels did not intend to have another child in the near future, however fate had other plans. The couple fell in love with and adopted an amazing little boy, Oliver, who also requires the support of the home.
"When we’re here (at Roger's House), Chris is well cared for and my wife and I can rejuvenate in order to get through the next few months. We try not to think too far ahead. The staff encourages us to enjoy our time together and live one day at a time." - Derek Harkness
We live each day being grateful for the gifts our children have given us,” said the couple. “Life for us is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it has become a journey of learning to dance in the rain. The team at Roger’s House has helped our family dance and given our children, Zoey and Oliver, the same unconditional love and care that we do.” With the help of Roger's House, the Lumley-Pfiels believe they can tackle the journey that lies ahead.
Josee Bradley readily admits that she learned more from her son, Misha Garcia, than he ever learned from her. A top student, the 19-year old lived life to the fullest, becoming an all-star goalie, as well as a loving son, brother and grandson before he died of brain cancer at Roger’s House last September, Misha was surrounded by family. His sister Meena calls Misha “her hero.” Josee and Meena will share the story of Misha’s life and his experience at the pediatric respite and palliative care centre live throughout the telethon.
Tune in to the live broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday to hear these and other heartwarming stories about how Roger’s House impacts the lives of its patients and their families.
Donations to the Roger’s House telethon can be made:
• Online at www.sensfoundation.com. Scotiabank will match all online donations up to a total of $10,000.
• By text message. Text the word “Sens” to 45678 to make a $5 donation or the word “Senators” to 45678 to make a $10 donation. Terms at mobilegiving.ca.