A Saskatoon mom has authored a children’s book that she hopes encourages kids at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital to be brave this Christmas.
Patricia Daenckaert is the author of Milo’s Bowling Ball Adventure, a story about a boy whose favourite activity goes awry, lands him in hospital and results in him turning to his faith to become brave.
“We want to be able to let the children know that they are on our hearts, in our thoughts and our prayers this Christmas,” said Daenckaert.
The book is dedicated to the nurses, doctors and health-care workers that Daenckaert describes as the “real superheroes of our world.”
The Saskatoon mother of two has also ordered hundreds of plush dogs bearing the likeness of Milo’s dog in the story. She’s selling a book and dog bundle for just over $20, keeping none of the proceeds and using the money to pay for a copy of the book and a dog for kids at the children’s hospital.
“Just to bring a smile to a child’s face,” she said.
The effort is, in part, a result of her family’s experience. In 2006, her youngest sister Shantelle was diagnosed with bone cancer in her ankle.
“She had to go through chemotherapy and lost her hair, and then in the end, she had to get her foot amputated,” Daenckaert said.
“It was a very difficult time for us as a family.”
During Shantelle’s treatments, Daenckaert said her family benefitted from gifts from others in the community. Blankets and other items offered comfort in the stressful hospital setting.
“It did mean a lot to us and a lot to her as a child in the hospital,” Daenckaert said.
In a statement, staff with the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation expressed gratitude, but cautioned others about donations of items — particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While some item donations can be accepted, they must meet strict infection guidelines to ensure the health and safety of patients,” said Kristina Konchak, hospital liaison and community engagement manager.
“These include only brand new items in their original packaging and/or individually cello-sealed items that are sent directly from the manufacturer.”
Daenckaert’s book and toy drive has received the foundation’s approval, with bundles now available for purchase online.
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