CHEO Telethon underway on CTV

A big weekend of fundraising for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario is underway.

Money raised from the CHEO Telethon goes to help buy specialized equipment and fund life-saving research.

"The money is incredibly important," said Kevin Keohane, the CHEO Foundation President. "Without that we couldn't fund the research and we couldn't fund the programs that give the kids the care they deserve." 

For families like the Dansons, the weekend of support provides hope and an opportunity to give thanks to the staff that just keep giving. 

"It means family," said Clinton Danson, two-year-old Maeve's dad. "We are there so often that the people know us by name. All the doctors come out to say hi and the therapists know us. It's just a big family."

"There are days I think it's too much and they give us that extra push and they give us hope," said Keira Danson, Maeve's mom. "This is a day we can give back."

The money raised this weekend is the culmination of a year of hard work from individuals, and community groups big and large. 

Little nine-year-old Logan Hussein started fundraising as soon as he could talk. This year he raised more than $9,000 for CHEO.

"I fundraiser for CHEO because when I was a baby I spent nine days in the NICU and this is my way of giving back and saying thank you."

For Melanie Pham,  she shows her gratitude by helping take donations on the phone. Pham spent roughly three years at CHEO's oncology unit. Today she is cancer free and a proud mom to six-month-old Zoe. 

"I was such a big part of CHEO as a patient, I was there for almost three years," she said. "Every step of the way, CHEO was there for me. They were my second family and a second family to my family." 

The telethon began Saturday at 7 p.m. and will conclude with the big fundraising total revealed at 7 p.m. Sunday.

CTV News at 6 p.m. Sunday will be available online and live on Newstalk 580 CFRA at 6 p.m.

You can donate by calling 613-738-1450 or 1-888-738-1450 and online.