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KCC announces fundraising total for Erie Shores Health Care MRI


Kids Curing Cancer volunteers present fundraising cheque totalling $41,753

Kids Curing Cancer has wrapped up its 2023-24 fundraising campaign and it is the highest total to date.


Lauren, Kierstyn and Ty Baillargeon, the “kids” of Kids Curing Cancer (KCC), along with other members of their family were at the Erie Shores Health Foundation board meeting last Thursday evening where they revealed a total of $41,753.35. The money will go towards the construction of a new MRI suite at Erie Shores Health Care in Leamington.


“We know this money will be going to a great cause in our community and hopefully it will help patients get diagnosed sooner,” said Lauren. “We are very fortunate to be a very small portion of this initiative.”


Penny Bellhouse, executive director of the Erie Shores Health Foundation, joined members of the board in cheering for the announcement.


“I have chills,” said Bellhouse. “It has been a pleasure meeting you and getting to know you this year and working with your family. I’m just floored.”


Kristen Kennedy, CEO of Erie Shores Health Care, said she was “teary-eyed” watching the Amherstburg family make the presentation. Noting she is also a mother, she said she is very proud of the Baillargeon family for the work they undertook.


“I can’t even imagine where you’re heading in your lives,” she told Lauren, Kierstyn and Ty. “I’m so proud of you. It’s amazing. You are going to touch so many people’s lives.”


Kierstyn said they are grateful for the support of the community but getting more people involved is still a goal.


“We want everyone to help us,” she said.


This year’s KCC campaign involved 13 local schools holding fundraisers, hockey teams such as the South County Predators Girls Hockey Association and Amherstburg Admirals getting involved, a number of local organizations and businesses among many others. Ty said it’s not just Amherstburg teams and groups getting involved but a lot of sports groups and organizations.


“It’s amazing,” he said of the involvement.


“Our community is amazing,” added Lauren. “People have now been reaching out to us. The community is just incredible. People just want to be involved. I don’t know if people can be more involved than they are right now. It’s not just the three of us anymore, it’s the entire community.”


Lauren pointed out the community that helps them extends beyond Amherstburg, and people throughout Windsor-Essex County have reached out to help. They are now part of the “KCC family,” she stated. She said the fundraiser has led to a stronger bond within the Baillargeon siblings.


“We’re definitely stronger because we’re doing this together,” said Lauren.

This year’s total brings the overall fundraising amount over the 11 years KCC has been operating to $158,353.23. Ty said they feel “accomplished” by raising what they have. Lauren noted it started out when she was nine-years-old with her wanting to raise $50 to support her grandfather Dan Gerard, who had cancer. Now 19, she said she didn’t expect it to grow like it has as it was originally thought to be “one and done” after the first year.


“Never would I have imagined that 11 years later, I’d be here presenting Erie Shores with this total,” she said. “Nine-year-old Lauren did not expect this at all.”

The first year saw KCC raise $3,860 for Windsor Regional Hospital’s patient assistance fund. Over the first three years of KCC, they ended up raising $16,990 for the patient assistance program.


Their focus shifted to such organizations as the Ronald McDonald House, the Fight Like Mason Foundation, the radiation department at Windsor Regional Hospital, Erie Shores Hospice and now the MRI suite at Erie Shores Health Care. They adapted throughout the pandemic, partnered with the Sweet Moments Cookie Co. on vendor fairs and fundraisers, and brought back their pasta night at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, the latter raising over $7,000 alone this year.


Board chair Jeff Lewis said it was amazing to see young people that are mature and passionate about such a cause. He said many youth are not taught that.

“It’s very amazing to see that,” said Lewis. “Obviously, it’s where you come from. Obviously you are taught this at home, you have a strong sense of family at home.”


Lewis predicted the Baillargeon's would look back in 50 years and say “what awesome times we had.”“This will teach you a lot in the future,” he told them. “Thank you so much for all that you do.”

KCC announces fundraising total for Erie Shores Health Care MRI

By Ron Giofu

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