In 2001 little Meagan Bebenek died just weeks after her 5th birthday. Today her life is celebrated every Mother's Day as people take part in Meagan's Walk-Creating a Circle of Hope.
The annual Walk has raised more than $2 million since 2001 for paediatric brain tumour research and for programs which help affected children and families at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and around the world.
This is the tenth year that Meagan's Walk will take place in Toronto celebrating the life of little Meagan Bebenek. This year three players from the Toronto Argonauts, Sheila McCarthy, Colin Mochrie, Kim Stockwood and Deb McGrath at Ontario Place will help kick off the walk starting at Ontario Place. A human hug will end the walk at Sick Kids Hospital, a place that little Meagan knew all to well. Several families affected by childhood cancer will be acknowledged to commemorate and celebrate 10-year history, narrated by actor Cynthia Dale at SickKids.
In 2001 Meagan and her family dealt with the diagnosis of brain stem glioma, an inoperable and cancerous brain tumour. She died that same year on Father's Day. For her mom Denise the death of her little girl would not be in vain. Denise founded Meagan’s Walk, a legacy of hope for all children living with brain tumours with the help of her community.
For Denise and other mothers who deal with the cancers of their young children life is not easy. Spending a long time away from the home at hospital can tear apart a family. Parents often overlook their own needs as their children bravely fight against a disease that could claim their life.
When your child is struggling in hospital a mother will quietly cry in a bathroom and blot away those tears, shielding their precious little one from fears that no parent should have to face. Brave smiles go in place as a mommy convinces their child that one more needle is needed.
This year Meagan's walk is honouring the brave mommies at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto whose children are currently at SickKids. They will be honoured by Denise Bebenek, founder of Meagan's Walk and Swarovski, presenting sponsor of Meagan's Walk, at "Mother's Way" in the Hospital Atrium.
For more information about Meagan's Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope, call 416-239-7843 or visit www.meaganswalk.com