Skip to main content

Family raises $10K for the John McGivney Children’s Centre with backyard fundraiser

Lisa and Oakley Doerksen and JMCC CEO Jenn Jovanovski at the John McGivney Children’s Centre in Windsor, Ont. (Source: John McGivney Children’s Centre) Lisa and Oakley Doerksen and JMCC CEO Jenn Jovanovski at the John McGivney Children’s Centre in Windsor, Ont. (Source: John McGivney Children’s Centre)

A local family raised $10,000 for the John McGivney Children’s Centre, an organization very close to their heart, with a backyard fundraising event.

The Doerksens’ son, Oakley, was diagnosed with Limb Body Wall Complex and given a two per cent chance at survival, if he made it through to the end of pregnancy.

Oakley is now almost three years old.

“The doctors had no hope for him, as they all had never seen someone with his diagnosis survive,” Oakley’s mom, Lisa Doerksen, said in a news release. “At birth, there were 15 doctors and nurses trying to figure out how this little baby would make it. Minute by minute, Oakley showed us all how strong he was. He overcame every battle that was thrown at him in his diagnosis. After four weeks of being in the NICU, Oakley showed us he was ready to come home to us and meet the rest of the family. Everyone, including the doctors are learning from him every day.”

Oakley started working with the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) since he was about three months old, receiving physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.

“The Centre has been so patient with us and has done amazing things to get Oakley to where he is today,” Doerksen said. “Oakley is now walking around in his little pacer that the Centre has provided for him and he is just enjoying life, regardless of the obstacles that may be in his way.”

In an effort to give back, the Doerksens held a backyard fundraiser with live music from the band Buck Twenty, yard games and food. The fundraiser helped raise $10,000 for the centre.

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life better for others,” Doerksen said. “This is how we feel about the John McGivney Children’s Centre and why we chose to raise money to support them.”

Doerksen said the staff at the centre will be working with Oakley for years to come, and has already done amazing work to help him.

“This is so humbling,” occupational therapist Maria Kmet said. “This young family is amazing and it has been a pleasure working with his parents and with Oakley. We are so grateful for their very generous donation, and it will be put to very good use.”

The JMCC has been providing family-centred therapy and support services to more than 3,000 children and youth annually in Windsor and Essex County for 45 years. Top Stories

CBC says it is cutting 600 jobs, some programming as it slashes budget

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Radio-Canada will eliminate about 600 jobs and not fill an additional 200 vacancies. The cuts at CBC come days after the Liberal government suggested it may cap the amount of money CBC and Radio-Canada could get under a $100 million deal Ottawa recently signed with Google.

Stay Connected