This year marked the first annual September Dragon Boat Festival hosted by The Dream Factory and the Manitoba Paddling Association. It was a roaring success. As hundreds of people, from all walks of life, descended upon the river bed, teams of paddlers took to the “sea” in support of making dreams come true.Read More
This January, local entrepreneurs and owners of WPG Cycle Christy Weiss and Jamie Murray decided that they wanted to make a difference. They were going to make a dream come true.
Christy and Jamie strive every day to build a community that is safe, inclusive, and positive. It was nothing short of destiny when they learned that there was a little girl out there dreaming of finding exactly that: community.Read More
On April 5th, 2017, our world came crashing down on us. Our 3-year old daughter Maia was diagnosed with Very High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She hadn’t been herself for a few months, but there were no indicators that it was something so serious. A few weeks before her diagnosis, things changed.
She developed a fever that wouldn’t go away, had many bruises on her legs, no appetite, and little energy. The day we brought her to the Children’s ER, she had little blood spots on the bridge of her nose. Hours later, we were given the news that would change the course of our family’s life, and begin Maia’s fight for her own.Read More
Ryder was born in June of 2012. Like most parents, my husband Chris and I had no idea what the journey of parenthood was all about but we would soon find out that the unexpected could happen at any moment.
We didn’t learn what a warrior Ryder would become until 8 months later, when we were told something no parent ever expects: Ryder had Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.Read More
I have been a volunteer for The Dream Factory for the past 15 years. At that time when it was called The Rainbow Society, I was working for the Winnipeg Free Press. This is where I met Tony and Paul Thompson who got me involved with the dragon boat team. Tony's wife is Grace Thompson, who was the former Winnipeg Executive Director of the Dream Factory. I was one of the paddlers on the boat for about 5 years and all of the money we raised were for the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses.Read More
Ava was born just over a month early on February 8, 2011. The doctors had hoped her condition would correct itself and, once born, she would be okay. Within a week, Ava relapsed and was in need of her seventh blood transfusion. We were told at this time for her to sustain life, she would need continual blood transfusions but still they said, “We don’t know why.”
Our family became a permanent fixture in Pediatric Cancer Care Manitoba. The weekly visits for blood transfusions and tests were always emotionally and physically draining. Ava was so very small and her veins were no bigger than a hair. It was not unusual for her to receive 6-8 “needle pokes” to find a vein that would take and hold an intravenous needle.Read More
You see, Paisley has been battling an aggressive form of brain cancer off and on since she was eight-months-old – since she was just a baby. Paisley lived in the hospital for five months and 22 days during her first year of life. She has endured three difficult brain surgeries, countless chemotherapy regimens, and several blood and platelet transfusions.
Even though Paisley has been through so much, her beautiful smile still shines through at the end of each and every day. She inspires all of us with her amazing strength and resilience.Read More
Two years ago, at age 5, our son Finley was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma, a non-malignant brain tumour. The tumour was creating pressure in Finley’s head, which caused severe headaches, lethargy and hormone disruptions. As this tumour is considered rare, there is no standard treatment for it and approaches vary.
Finley had three brain surgeries in the five months following his diagnosis. He developed several complications from these surgeries, including meningitis and two strokes. For a time, he was unable to move one leg and one arm and lost a lot of his vocabulary. In addition to the surgeries, Finley had countless scans, tests and many, many needles. The needles are the worst for Finley, regardless of how quick or gentle the nurses are.Read More