OTTAWA – March 17, 2017 – This year, Children’s Miracle Network is celebrating a child from each of Canada’s 14 member hospitals by naming them Champions. These Champions represent the more than two million children treated in one of Canada’s pediatric hospitals each year. While every child’s journey is unique, our 13 Champions stories demonstrate what children and families go through to overcome illness or injury, as well as highlight the incredible advances being made in child health care.

To help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, Children’s Miracle Network teamed up with J. Walter Thompson Canada to provide this year’s Champions with the ultimate Canadian experience: Limitless Support. Limitless Support is a social media campaign taking place March 18 to 20 giving Canadians an opportunity to rally around our 2016-17 Canadian Champions and celebrate their limitless character. These young people embody the characteristics Canadians can aspire to and celebrate as a society: perseverance, compassion, selflessness, positivity and generosity. “Our Champions not only overcome some of the toughest of challenges, they also inspire a nation,” says Adam Starkman, Chief Development Officer, Children’s Miracle Network. “These children, between the ages of three and 17, rise above brain injuries, leukemia and cerebral palsy, to name a few, and remain compassionate, curious, playful and generous throughout it all.”

CHEO’s very own Champion Jacob Randell will be front and centre when the other Children’s Miracle Network Champions visit Ottawa from Mach 18 – 20. At the age of five Jacob was diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour. This rare brain cancer meant Jacob required a 17 hour surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Part of his treatment included physiotherapy to learn how to walk and eat again. He was later diagnosed with Schwannoma, a genetic condition which causes tumours to grow on nerve endings. Last year Jacob underwent esophageal surgery to help with trouble swallowing. Medically, Jacob has been through a lot, yet he remains a happy, loving and inspiring young man.

In preparation for the final reveal on March 20, the Sussex Room of the Marriott Hotel Ottawa will stage a very special event. The Children’s Miracle Network will ask every Canadian to blow up a balloon as a visual representation of their admiration and support for these exceptional children. By simply visiting, and entering your name, a balloon will be inflated in real time. The website will show a live feed of the Marriott Sussex room and when a balloon is inflated Canadians can watch as it floats to the ceiling and joins the other balloons in an incredible demonstration of the love and encouragement coming from all across this great country. Once an individual’s balloon floats up to the ceiling, a message will appear showing them how to share their experience on social media with the hashtag #BalloonsforChampions allowing every participating Canadian to reach out to the Champions with personal messages and best wishes.

The website will continue to host a live feed of the Sussex Room in order for Canadians to watch the reactions of the 2016-17 Champions as they walk into the room on March 20 at 7:30 p.m. and see a physical representation of their country’s Limitless Support for them, their resilience and their courage.

The site will have a running tally of all the Canadians that have blown up a balloon in support of the Champions.

For more information contact:
Chantel K Smith
Phone: (416) 926 7619
Mobile (647) 268 6978

Len Hanes
Phone: (613) 737-2784
Mobile: (613) 447-2741