Giving back to SickKids in a new way: SickKids ambassador and Camp Crew member
Siena McLaven is a 14-year-old SickKids patient and 3-time participant in the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk to benefit SickKids. She shares her perspective on SickKids camp.
Hi, my name is Siena McLaven, I am 14 years old. I have been a patient at SickKids since I was three months old. I was born with a large hole in my heart and had a surgery to close the hole when I was six years old.
When I first went to SickKids because of my heart, the doctors also found a bump on my face which they said was a hemangioma. A hemangioma is a benign tumour of blood vessels and kind of looks like a birthmark. I had to take very strong medicine for a year and a half because it was growing very fast. Later I had a surgery to remove it. This worked but then a year later it started growing back again. Since then I have had three surgeries on my face. Because of my bump, my left eye is not as strong as my right one.
I still come to SickKids regularly for check-ups on my heart, my face and my eyes. I was also recently diagnosed with scoliosis. I have started going to that clinic every six months for an X-ray and to see how my back is doing.
Because I go to the hospital so much, I heard about the Great Camp Adventure Walk. I thought why not try going to camp in the best city ever!! So three years ago when the walk had just started, my family and I signed up. It was the best experience we could have ever had with SickKids. It was SO much fun!! All the camp sites, the activities, the food, the people and the loud cheering were awesome!! It was such a fun day! We raised almost $12,000.
Last year, instead of walking, my family and I decided to volunteer at Camp to give back to the hospital in a different way. We LOVED it!! We worked at the first campsite on the route; Camp Messy Hands! There was hand painting, making signs and yummy snacks. I cheered on the walkers as they arrived at the campsite. I love to volunteer and help out. And the best part is... I will be at Camp Messy Hands again this year. I am also going to be part of the Opening Ceremonies because I am a SickKids Ambassador. I hope to see you there! If you didn’t sign up this year, try it out next year. You won't regret it!!