Childrens hospice ‘means everything’

During breaks in the Ottawa Senators-Montreal Canadians game Friday, hockey fans will be asked to donate to an unbelievably sad yet important cause: Providing palliative medical care for dying children.

The Sens Foundation telethon will introduce them to the family of Marc-Alexandre Savard, who died before his second birthday at Roger’s House — a pediatric palliative-care home at CHEO.

The Sens foundation gives $50,000 a year to pay for families from west Quebec, like the Savards, to use the hospice. Unlike hospital care, palliative care isn’t covered for patients from out of province.

“There are very few pediatric hospices in Canada. We’re very, very fortunate to have one in our area,” said Al Roberts, director of fundraising for the Sens foundation.

Eric Savard said his son had a difficult birth that left him brain damaged, which meant his motors skills never developed. Doctors at Roger’s House did everything they could to care for Marc-Alexandre and make him comfortable.

“You know that there your child is being taken care of and they have the top specialists,” he said. “What touched me the most is the caring that those folks have for each and every one of their patients and the families that accompany them is beyond belief.”

In the last few days of Marc-Alexandre’s life his family moved into a suite in the hospice to be with him, said Savard.

“It’s hard to express exactly how much it means now,” he said. “It means everything.”

You can make a donation online at sensfoundation.¬com.