Mackenzie’s Run and Walk for CHEO this Saturday at Low Island

LITTLE CURRENT— Next Saturday, July 18 at Low Island Park will mark the second annual Mackenzie’s Run and Walk for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

Mackenzie Peltier, known for his ever present smile and happy disposition, was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease at CHEO before the disease ultimately took his young life. Mackenzie’s parents were so taken with the care and treatment their son received at the hospital they started the 5K run, 2K walk and 1K kids’ walk last year to raise funds for CHEO, and continue Mackenzie’s legacy.

Last year over 100 people attended the walk, raising $4,431, and this year the family is hoping to top that.

“Last year we sent the money to Project Stitch—a $5 million project for the creation of two new operating rooms at CHEO,” Jillian Peltier, Mackenzie’s mom, explained. One of those operating rooms will deal specifically for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. “This means the wait time for diagnosis will be shortened as well,” Ms. Peltier added, noting that to date, Project Stitch has raised $2 million of its $5 million goal.

This year the funds raised will be split between Project Stitch and the pediatric and intensive care unit at CHEO. “That’s where Mackenzie was admitted and we learned while there that there are a certain number of beds that aren’t funded,” she said. “We were really taken aback by that.”

The Run is also a way for families who have been touched by CHEO to show their support for the hospital, and to connect with other families who may have experienced, or are experiencing, children in need of critical care.

Registration for Mackenzie’s Run and Walk will take place between 8 and 9 am with the event getting underway at 9 am. The cost to participate is $20 per person or $5 for those under the age of 10. The first 140 participants will receive a Mackenzie’s Run and Walk t-shirt. There are already 60 registered (meaning they are guaranteed a tee), but it’s not necessary.

For those wishing to register ahead of time, please email Ms. Peltier at jillianpeltier@hotmail.com.

“We want to support the hospital because we received such great care and want to make sure that that continues for other kids,” Ms. Peltier concluded. “We hope to see everyone there.”

For a link to Ms. Peltier’s fundraising page, visit https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=2981123&langPref=en-CA

Patrons of the Northeast Town Public Library will also be familiar with another aspect pf Mackenzie Peltier’s legacy: a library of ‘block books’ for young readers in his name.