February 25, 2019
At the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC), we marked Feeding Tube Awareness Week (Feb. 4 to 8) by bringing together tubie families, caregivers and professionals to learn and share information about feeding tubes and enteral feeding.
“Families continually express their desire to meet others that are going through similar experiences,” said Wendy Tavares, Program Manager, JMCC. “Connecting families and sharing available resources became our prime focus when organizing this year’s event.”
Dedicated grandmother, Wendy Harling-Kell spearheads feeding Tube Awareness Week at JMCC annually. Her grandson Jacob receives therapy services at JMCC and is a student at the JMCC School Authority. Together with our JMCC team, Harling-Kell has grown this cause from a simple waiting room display in its first year to an event for kids, parents and professionals with a wider circulation of information and stories.
“Feedback from families has been extremely positive,” said Harling-Kell. “Caregivers received valuable resources and felt reassurance after attending and listening to others’ experiences.”
On February 6, 2019, the JMCC gym was transformed into a forum for families, caregivers and professionals to learn and exchange information about tube feeding. There were several booths that provided families with financial resources for supplies and transportation, videos on oral motor treatment, books to help children better understand feeding tubes and free, reusable tube pads to take home.
Twenty-one-year-old Nic Irvine provided the keynote speech, sharing his story and answering questions “about life with a tube.” Nic’s mom, Adelina Irvine, also described their extensive experiences with JMCC, hospitals, surgeries, feeding processes and encouraged other guardians not to be afraid if their child has or needs a feeding tube.
At JMCC, we believe that connecting families and familiarizing them with information and resources are significant to our mission of helping children reach their full potential. We are thankful to our wonderful staff and families for facilitating this successful event!