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What is your CHEO story?

The hospital’s annual Telethon shines light on breadth of care provided in the community


From broken arms and stomach bugs, to complex care cases and emergency surgeries, ask anyone in the local community and they’ll more than likely have a CHEO story.

Since the hospital’s inception in the 1970s, CHEO has remained a beacon in the Ottawa community and surrounding region, providing quality care to millions of children and their families.

This year, the CHEO Foundation is looking to celebrate the hospital’s community impact at the 2022 CHEO Telethon, one of the group’s largest annual charity events.

Aptly themed “Your CHEO”, this year’s Telethon will highlight the hospital’s broad scope of care and will invite residents to share what CHEO means to them.

“The CHEO Telethon is our way to put a spotlight on the generosity of donors who give to CHEO all year long,” says Steve Read, acting president and CEO of the CHEO Foundation. “Children, youth and families wouldn’t have access to the healthcare they need and deserve without the ongoing support of this community.”

Olivia CHEO

A growing need for support

The donations from this year’s Telethon will not only help fund care, but will have a major impact on helping the hospital regain its footing.

Like most major hospitals in the country, CHEO is experiencing a huge surgery backlog created by the pandemic, as well as a backlog in requests for rehab and development care services.

“Children have been impacted so significantly these last two years. Delayed treatments, postponed surgeries, at-home schooling, and lack of contact with their friends and activities will have a lasting impact on their lives,” says Read. “CHEO is here to help and that is because of our giving community.”

CHEO is also seeing a continued increase in mental-health cases, as well as a dramatic nearly 200 per cent spike in eating disorders – prompting the hospital to broaden its programming and support options, such as donor-funded 24/7 child and youth counselor positions on the Mental Health Emergency Department team.

While CHEO receives some provincial funding for operational costs, much of the life-saving equipment, research and support programs are funded through donor giving, underlining the importance of events such as the CHEO Telethon.

“Every dollar really matters. When a child cuts their hair to raise awareness for oncology care at CHEO or sets up a lemonade stand and donates the money to CHEO, it all makes a difference,” says Read. “Gifts of all sizes mean experts at our local children’s hospital can help every child, youth and family live their best life.”

As the Telethon inches closer, it’s a time to reflect on how difficult these past two year have been, and how through it all CHEO is there. Watch the six stories on to be inspired and consider giving online or during the CHEO Telethon on CTV, Sunday, June 5 from 1-7 p.m.

​​Join the Telethon and donate!

From May 23 to June 5 visit to see patient stories and to learn about the important programs funded by donations to the CHEO Foundation.

Tune in to CTV on June 5 – 1-7pm and hear an update on our Telethon stories and how donors are impacting their care.