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It’s In You To Give

Parents donating blood during their son's heart surgery. Photo credit Slice of Love Photography

Last year at this time our family, the Wolfe Pack, had just moved to Canmore and were preparing to return to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton for our son’s second open heart surgery. Kane, who is now 7 and doing really well, had his heart surgery on September 23rd, 2019.

One year ago, things did not go quite as we had hoped and Kane’s medical team had to go back in three days later to insert a pacemaker.

A boy and his nurse in a hospital room.
Kane getting up to walk around two days after his initial heart surgery.

This week marks one year since Kane’s surgeries and the day Kane became known in our family as Iron Kane, because, as he says, “my pacemaker is like an arc reactor.”

Kane meeting Iron Man at Telus World of Science
Kane meeting Iron Man at the Telus World of Science.

In our family, we celebrate milestones. We talk about the challenges. We recognize the wins. We teach our boys to talk about “hugs and bugs”, the good and the bad. We spend time reflecting on the kindness people have shown us and how we have shown kindness to others.

Kane has been a Stollery kid since he spent the first 54 days of his life in the NICU. We are a Stollery family, and now an Alberta Children’s Hospital family. It is important for us to give back, to say thank you for all the amazing things friends, families and strangers have done for our family when things have not gone as expected.

And it is important for our family to pay it forward.

Before Kane’s surgery, our younger son, Maverick, wanted to know what kind of a warrior he was. We have always talked about Kane being a heart warrior and Mav was feeling left out. We started referring to our family as the Wolfe Pack Warriors. We made Wolfe Pack Warriors t-shirts to wear on surgery day and asked family and friends to send pictures and messages to Kane. Those original Wolfe Pack Warriors t-shirts became a fundraiser and when Kane was well enough he delivered a cheque to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation for $3,075. 

Wolfe Pack Warriors 2019 t-shirt
Maverick modeling his shirt.
Wolfe Pack Warriors cheque donation
Delivering a cheque following our t-shirt fundraiser.
Wolfe Pack Warriors donating blood
Harrison and I donating blood for our first time.

During Kane’s surgery, I booked an appointment at the Canadian Blood Services office across the street from the hospital to donate blood. There is not a lot you can do while a loved one is in surgery, but donating blood was something we could do. The following are images Raz of Slice of Love Photography took of Harrison, my brother, Brendan and I donating last year.

Harrison and I are booked to give blood again on September 23rd, the one year anniversary of Kane’s surgery. I will be donating in Edmonton and Harrison will be donating in Calgary. We are donating because we can. Because it’s something we can do. We can do it for all those kids (and adults) like Kane who require blood products due to illness, surgery or accidents.

The need for blood remains strong. Canadian Blood Services

The Wolfe Pack Warriors are continuing to pay it forward.

Wolfe Pack Warriors logo

The Wolfe Automotive Group has recently unveiled the Wolfe Pack Warriors as it’s new charitable arm. Our fall focus is Sharing Our Hearts for Kids Like Kane in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation in Edmonton and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation in Calgary. 

We are all warriors.

And we all need a little help from others to make it through challenges. I think covid has reminded everyone that we are in this together and in order to make it through with our mental health in tact we need to talk about our challenges. We need to share stories and support each other.

The Wolfe Pack Warriors photo credit Slice of Love Photography
A family shot just before heading to the hospital last year. Photo credit Slice of Love Photography

Our family would like to invite you to join the Wolfe Pack Warrior’s Sharing Our Hearts for Kids Like Kane initiative. Here are 3 free ways you can help us pay it forward! 

  1. Donate blood this month. Here’s the link to book.
    1. Tell them you are part of the Wolfe Pack Warriors group.
  2. Follow @wolfepackwarriors on Facebook and Instagram.
    1. Share one of our posts with a friend and tell them why this is important to you.
  3. Share your own story of how the Stollery Children’s Hospital, the Alberta Children’s Hospital, or your own local children’s hospital has impacted your life
    1. tag @wolfepackwarriors #kidslikekane #sharingourhearts #canadaslifeline
Harrison, Brendan and I after our donation. Photo credit: Slice of Love Photography

You are a part of our Pack and we will never be able to thank you for all the support you have given our family. This is not the end of Kane’s heart story. We know there will be more heart surgeries in his future. We know Kane will need blood products again. And we know there are countless others that need your support. Please share your heart along with us, it’s in you to give.

Canadian Blood Services. The need for blood doesn't stop.

Published by Kristy Wolfe Stories

Kristy is an engaging, open, and honest Common Language DST trained digital storytelling facilitator. She has been speaking and teaching workshops on both photography & digital storytelling for 5 years. With a background in the education, healthcare, and non-profit sectors, she works with diverse audiences, prioritizing ethics in storytelling and storyteller wellbeing.

2 thoughts on “It’s In You To Give

  1. It’s amazing how moms can do anything. Dads too, but moms especially. They comfort, they communicate, they cry (hopefully not often) and they convey stories that inspire others. You are not just a good photographer – your storytelling is beautiful. In your words we see ourselves. Thanks for all you do to pay it forward. Thank Harrison too – dads are pretty special too 🙂

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