When Illness Is Hitting Your Family Hard, Where Can You Find Hope?

parents giving kids piggyback ride

Hopefest brings family and communities together to give inspiration to cope with health concerns.

Hope is waking up each day with sunshine in your veins, having an optimistic attitude or state of mind. Hope was exactly what a local family held on to on June 30, 2010 when the youngest member of the family was finally diagnosed at The Hospital for Sick Children, or SickKids, with myelodysplastic syndromes, one step down from leukemia. MDS is a rare blood cell development disease that normally occurs in the elderly.

The greatest struggle for the family was dealing with isolation. “Stress builds fast when you are confined to a room for your own safety. Child Life Specialists at SickKids do so much for young minds, but being locked in a well-lit hospital room with an old T.V. is still captivity, even if it is for self-preservation.”

Music became a form of stress management for them. They shared stories with young Liam about the vibes coming out of the speakers and the energy of the crowd. The day they left the hospital, the first thing Liam wanted to do was attend a show, but because of the state, his body was in there with a very limited number of options available.

As hope would have it, some other members of the Georgina community were hosting a fundraiser for another young resident who was at SickKids. Along with a BBQ and raffle prizes the family had built a stage on the back of a trailer and had the band UnGLUED, The Band Called US and a few others playing music for the crowd.

That day, the seed of Hopefest was planted for Bob Walker, Liam’s eldest brother. The idea is, “A family based concert experience that patients can attend is a great way to raise money for SickKids.” And so began the journey of Hopefest. Through SickKids Foundation, the Child Life Specialists at the hospital use the money raised to provide activities for the kids to take part in and for tools, such as coloring books, laptops and WIFI, to help eliminate the isolation from family and friends.

Hopefest Presents Music 4 Miracles, along with other shows they put on are about giving inspiration to anyone coping with health concerns and an outing they can enjoy with family and friends. They say, “Music is the global language” and to be surrounded by family and friends with similar beliefs can be all the motivation and strength required to start someone down the path of healing. Hopefest raises money and awareness in the community about what the healing power of music can do.

Music 4 Miracles will be a festival event held on Labor Day weekend on September 5, 6, and 7 2015 at Eaglewood Resort located in the Town Of Georgina, On Canada. There will be 2 full band stages and two side stages to keep the music playing all day long.
The goal for this year is to run a podcast telethon so the superb acts and excellent vibes can be shared across the country while generating funds from people who cannot attend the actual event. Portions of the show will be live recorded and sent to SickKids to be aired on the Patient Channel. Hopefest intends to raise $10,000 for a new project at the hospital called Marnie’s Lounge, a live recording and multimedia arts center for patients.

For more information about ongoing Hopefest events and great new developments check out their website: http://www.hopefest.ca.

To help Hopefest reach their goals you can make a donation at http://www.hopefest.ca.


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