Little Kid With a Huge Heart
Prince George, B.C. – Audrey Warren was back at it on Saturday, selling lemonade and sweet tea outside the Prince George Farmers’ Market. The weather could have been more co-operative, but that didn’t deter Audrey.
For the second year in a row she was raising money for the Paediatric Child Life Program at UHNBC. Her mother, Natalie, says the program “assists families and sick children when they’re coming into the ward for any kind of procedure or if they have to stay on the ward for any length of time.”
“There’s a Child Life Specialist who will come in and try to interact with the child and provide interactive play. She provides the kids with toys and giveaways and makes sure the hospital has things. Like last year we raised money and she bought seven game systems for the ward for the different ages of kids. And she bought lots of little giveaways for when kids come in and get a shot or have blood tests done so that they’re going away with something that makes it not such a traumatic event.”
Last year Audrey, who is 8, and her mom raised just over one thousand dollars for the program through lemonade sales and public donations. What got them involved? Natalie says “my son has been involved with the Paediatric Ward since he was two years old.” He has a form of arthritis which not only attacks his joints but his internal organs as well. “So he’s had to go to have infusions, for different lengths of time, since he was two years old. So we’ve been involved with the Child Life Specialists and the ward, he’s six now, so for four years.”
“They’ve just given so much to us as a family. Evan, when he goes he knows that “oh I’m gonna get a Hot Wheels car today or I’ll get a teddy bear from the treasure chest” and those are all things that are supplied to the ward or through the child life specialist. So it’s really something we want to support and give back.”
“Audrey has been a big part of seeing her brother go through his injections and the pain and so she understands how important it is for kids to leave the hospital with something positive.”
Asked how long she sees her fundraising efforts continuing, Audrey, without the blink of an eye and with a big smile, said “forever I guess.”