Children see the world differently than adults. They are enthusiastic, hopeful about the future and they believe wholeheartedly that, with a little help, miracles can happen.
AT TELUS, we believe the future is friendly. We help charities like the David Foster Foundation, an organization that supports families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. Through our partnership, TELUS has invested more than $2 million to help families struggling with the non-medical costs of having a very ill child.
The David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala and Concert helps to raise funds for this important cause and this year the event was held right here in my home city of Calgary, Alberta and raised an unprecedented $8.2 million in support of this great cause. This celebrity-packed, sold out event had more than 800 guests enjoying the music of David Foster, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Jennifer Hudson and Jackie Evancho. Celebrities like former wrestling great Brett Hart, NHL great Kelly Hrudey, the Dragon Den’s Jim Treliving and humanitarian Sheldon Kennedy also showed their support. I was proud to present the David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award to my fellow TELUS Calgary Community Board member Sheldon Kennedy, who has dedicated his life to raising the level of public awareness and support of issues surrounding sexual abuse of children.
Since 1986, the David Foster Foundation has assisted more than 1,000 families, often for multiple years and, in some cases, for multiple children within the same family.
While I met a number of inspiring people at the gala, the most memorable was Curtis Keller, a brave five-year old boy who the Foundation has supported for two years. Curtis is the youngest person to receive a mechanical heart, allowing him to survive as he waited for a heart transplant. Just four weeks ago, Curtis received a new heart and was able to attend the event. As a mother of two boys, I can only imagine the devotion, commitment and optimism required to persevere through such a difficult time.
We can make a difference by talking to loved ones about organ donation. With more than 4,000 Canadians on a waiting list for a life-saving transplant, many of them children, organ donation is truly an extraordinary gift.
We are incredibly proud to support organizations like the David Foster Foundation, where we can meaningfully, positively impact the lives of hundreds of children and allow them to once again dream about what the future holds for them.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees, have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000.