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Giving Tuesday helps children get exceptional care at Southlake

Grateful family of six-year-old cancer survivor share their story in hope of inspiring others to give back on Nov. 29

Evelyn D'Orazio is grateful to be readying for another holiday season with her six-year-old son, Atticus, thanks to Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Last May, Atticus rang Southlake's Be a Hero bell three times to mark the end of his treatment for the acute lymphoblastic leukemia blood cancer he was diagnosed with in February 2019. He's been through a lot in three-and-a-half years, and his team at Southlake's pediatric oncology clinic has been by his side every step of the way, D'Orazio said in a Southlake Foundation news release.

"Tears of joy and gratitude sprang to my eyes when the bell rang," D'Orazio said. "My husband, Clem, and I are so grateful. We want to bring awareness to the exceptional and uniquely compassionate care Atticus received at Southlake. We don't know what we would have done if we needed to travel downtown. It's much less stressful to come here instead of commuting long distances to receive the care he needed."

Southlake clinicians and staff save countless patients' lives every year. Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving, is your chance to support the Newmarket hospital in continuing to deliver leading-edge care right here, close to home, the foundation said.

"If you've ever received care at Southlake, you know just how important it is to receive world-class health care in your own community," said Jennifer Ritter, president and CEO of Southlake Foundation. "But it's more than just the drive. Southlake provides a welcoming and personalized approach. Our talented physicians and staff get to know the children, and their families, treating them like their own. For extremely worried parents, the compassionate care they find here, close to home, means everything."

Friends of the D'Orazios established the Atticus Annual Golf Tournament, which has raised over $15,000, and according to D'Orazio, the family will continue with the annual fundraiser for as long as possible.

In the spirit of the giving season, they are sharing their story in support of Southlake's Giving Tuesday campaign.

"Southlake has done so much for our family, and we want to give back," said Clem. "The truth is, Southlake counts on your support more than you may know. Government funding only covers a portion of what they need to provide the exceptional care that our community deserves.

"Southlake counts on donors to give kids like our Atticus the most advanced treatments and the very best care, which is only possible with the most advanced tools. They need our help to give help."

"Atticus is a superhero. He is so strong and inspires us every single day. We are so proud of him for bravely completing his treatment, and we're really excited that he can now focus on being a kid," continues Evelyn.

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