Lilah’s Fund – 2011 Lil Monkey Jam – put the “fun” back in “fundraising”.

This was another fun-filled, yet very hectic weekend in the Urban Daddy household, and we ended this weekend in a special way unlike all other weekends (and no I’m not referring to 3 crazy children jumping up and down until we order them to bed kicking and screaming – that still went on), when on Sunday afternoon all five of us went to a fundraising event called the Lil Monkey Jam.  This fundraising event was for Lilah’s Fund.

If you are not aware of what Lilah’s fund is, it is a registered family fund at the Hospital for Sick Children here in Toronto. The purpose of this fund is to create more effective treatments for neuroblastoma (cancer) patients, especially children as the treatments used on adults is much to strong for children. 

This was our first, but not last event with Lilah’s fund.  In the 5-years that Lilah’s fund has been around, it has raised over $600,000.00.  Impressive, eh?

Lilah’s Fund is named after Lilah Petersiel, who herself went through treatment for neuroblastoma after being diagnosed within the first few weeks of her life.  If you saw this bubbly, nervous little girl, standing on the stage today, thanking everyone for attending the event today you would want to donate too. 

I’m going to pull a quote for the Lilah’s Fund website that I really liked; “[Lilah] shares our dreams of solving neuroblastoma so that all children who face this disease can do so with the knowledge that they, too, will get healthy soon.” 

So you, like I, probably need to know a little more about neuroblastoma, so I did some research and here is what I uncovered.  Neuroblastoma is a cancerous tumour that is most commonly diagnosed in children younger than 5-years-old and it is not preventable.  It is very hard to detect, which can mean that by the time the cancer is noticed, it has spread making it that much more deadly.   Neuroblastoma hits a nerve network that carries messages from the brain.  It is a solid, malignant tumor that manifests as a lump or mass in the abdomen or around the spinal cord in the chest, neck, or pelvis.  It is often present at birth, but is most often diagnosed much later when the child begins to show symptoms of the disease.  As discussed earlier, that is one major problem.

The event itself was a blast.  As this was their first ever Lil’ Monkey Jam, it couldn’t have turned out better.  It was at St. Michael’s school and the seating capacity was 440 and there was barely an empty seat in the house.  The entertainment was a wonderful local children’s band called Oozakazoo who sang three songs and got the place hopping in time for Juno nominated Shomo and the Monkey Bunch who, by the end of their set, had a stage full of happy, dancing children and their smiling parents.  

The funny part of the show for us, was that for the first part of the show, Berry played scared, tucking her head into her mummy’s chest and shoulder, but by the end of the show she was on stage dancing with the rest of the kids.  Even Linus and Stewie made it on the stage to dance (until they started scrapping with each other and were sent back to sit with daddy).

There were lots of great treats – smores, Starbucks coffee, colouring books, mini lego figures, juices and a ton of prizes for the raffle.  At $70.00 for a family of four it was worth every cent – and then some for the raffle tickets.  It was great seeing all the cancer survivors on the stage and seeing the smiling face of Lilah – the star of the show.

It was also very important to expose my children to the good that comers from attending events like this and showing support for those in need – whether they are in need now, or were in need when they were babies.  I want them to see how fortunate they are to live in a free, safe country, in a wonderful neighbourhood with good health because it can all change in a heartbeat and I’m sure they would want others to show them the same respect.  Considering my sons know Lilah, it is even more important for them to see how much she has accomplished in her young life.  She’s an inspriation for all children, healthy and sick.

Can’t wait for the next event!

In case you are interested, you too can make a donations here;

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