February 14, 2020 (Toronto, ON) – The David Foster Foundation is proud to have played a part in bringing together two families, who have forged a bond that redefines the term “heart-to-heart”, especially during the month of February which is celebrated as Heart Month. The following is a true story and the accompanying video must be seen to be believed.
On August 13, 2019, Kristin and Alex Chen got to meet the little girl they helped save when they made the decision to donate their daughter Ailah’s organs after she suddenly passed away from SIDS in June 2018 at only six-weeks-old.
Ailah’s heart went to Rosalie (Rosie) Audia, who was born with pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular system, a heart defect that makes it impossible for the heart to pump blood to the lungs. Doctors determined that Rosie’s defects were too severe to be repaired surgically and she had been on the transplant list when she was 10 days old.
The David Foster Foundation helped the Audia family by providing funding for the unexpected financial burdens that arose while Rosie waited for a heart transplant at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital. When the young family struggled with maintaining their household two hours away in Severn, Ontario and coordinating schedules with their two older children all while comforting their baby in Toronto, the Foundation stepped in to relieve their financial stress by paying for expenses such as accommodations, transportation, and food. The wait finally came to an end on June 27, 2018, when, thanks to the Chen family’s decision to donate Ailah’s organs, Rosie got her new heart.
Before they met in August 2019, the Chen family asked the Foundation to give the Audia family a DVD of all the photos they had of Ailah and the blanket that covered her as she went into surgery. At the emotional family meeting the Chen family got to hear Ailah’s heart beating in Rosie’s chest through a stethoscope and after the meeting, received a teddy bear with a recording of the heartbeat.
“We are deeply honoured to have played a role in this incredible story,” says Michael Ravenhill, Chief Executive Officer at The David Foster Foundation. “And we are also grateful to both the Chen and Audia families for their willingness to share their stories publicly and help raise awareness regarding the importance of organ donation.”
See the Audia and Chen families meet and watch Rosie and Ailah’s incredible story here: http://bit.ly/DFF-Heart-To-Heart.
Be sure to watch all the way through to the end to see the final surprise the Audia family offers to the Chens. It is a gift that has the power to change the Chen family’s life as much as they were able to change the Audias’.
About The David Foster Foundation
The David Foster Foundation provides financial assistance to families of children for all non-medical expenses while their child is going through the major organ transplant process. Thanks to its annual fundraising efforts and the generous support of Life Legacy Members, national partners, and donors, families receive financial support for day-to-day expenses such as mortgage/rent, car payments, travel expenses, utilities, groceries and more while their child is going through the major organ transplant process.
The success of the David Foster Foundation would not be possible without the generous support of Life Legacy Members including Jim & Sandi Treliving, AWIN Group of Dealerships, Jim Pattison, TELUS, The Slaight Family Foundation, Parq Vancouver, Walter & Maria Schneider, and the Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation in Partnership with the Catalyst Capital Group. The Foundation is also supported by national partners WestJet, Aird & Berlis LLP, Post Media Inc., OUTFRONT Media, and Schnitzer Steel, and community partners Boston Pizza, Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Tom Lee Music, and RBC Dominion Securities The Hillyard Stephen Group. For those who wish to have a deeper involvement with the organization, there are a number of ways to contribute including the donation of RBC Rewards and Aeroplan miles, all of which will directly help families going through the organ transplant process.
The Foundation also promotes organ donor awareness and registration in both Canada and the United States. For more information, visit www.davidfosterfoundation.com.
Jerry Grymek, LMA Digital, at 416-918-2043 or [email protected].
Michael Ravenhill, Chief Executive Officer David Foster Foundation, at 602-318-6786 or [email protected]