Like many six year-olds, Kaitlyn Sidhu loves music, but unlike most girls her age, Kaitlyn has had to endure a lot in her short life. At birth, she was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening condition called semilobar holoprosenchephaly, which meant her brain was not fully developed. She has also undergone several rounds of extensive chemotherapy to treat cancer.
So for Kaitlyn, music is more than singing along to the radio from her car seat. She works with a music therapist at Canuck Place, where she can enjoy making music, using specially designed instruments to help express herself.
Kaitlyn also enjoys playing with her adoring older siblings, Sean and Brittany. But with three children to care for, and Kaitlyn’s complex health challenges, her parents Amanda and Robert often find themselves stretched to the limit.
This is where Canuck Place steps in. In addition to bringing music to Kaitlyn’s life, Canuck Place has opened its doors to her entire family.
“Kaitlyn has spent almost half of her life in the hospital,” said Amanda. “This meant our family was living apart, until we were welcomed into Canuck Place. The clinical team has done everything possible to help Kaitlyn. They literally saved our family from a very difficult time.”
Canuck Place doesn’t just focus on helping it’s young patients. Our specialized clinical team turns their attention to the whole family, ensuring everyone is staying emotionally strong, as well as taking care of the little details like dinner and laundry during their stay. “We have more time to focus on just being a family,” said Amanda.
In February, Amanda shared her families’ story with 300 guests at the Gift of Love Gala in Abbotsford. The evening brought laughter and music, joy and tears to all who attended. In front of a hushed crowd, Amanda spoke with beautiful emotion, telling all in attendance how Canuck Place allows her family to savour life every day. Presented by a caring community partnership between Aldergrove Financial Group, Envision Financial and Prospera Credit Union, the gala raised $210,000 to provide support for the children and families of Canuck Place.
“Walking into Canuck Place is like walking into a whole other world,” said Amanda. “It’s a home filled with love that comes from the hearts of everyone inside. There is really nowhere else we can go for this kind of care.”