Stories - Community Champions
Returning Home To Make A Difference
Business Man Returns to Winnipeg To Help Establish The Children’s Hospital Paediatric Epilepsy & Paediatric Neurosurgery Program
Today the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba announced that a $2,000,000 commitment was made from Lilibeth and Michael Schlater that will allow a Paediatric Epilepsy & Paediatric Neurosurgery program to become a reality at the Children’s Hospital, potentially saving thousands of lives.
“There are presently 9,000 patients with epilepsy within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority”, said Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Kelvin Goertzen. “Thanks to Lilibeth & Michael Schlater, a comprehensive, all-encompassing program will allow the Children’s Hospital to establish a Paediatric surgical program providing Manitoba children with state-of-the-art, medical and surgical care for Epilepsy.”
Epilepsy is a chronic, neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures. It affects more patients than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined, and is as common as breast cancer.
“Manitoba currently has no formal Epilepsy Monitoring Unit or Epilepsy-trained neurologists for comprehensive investigation and treatment of children with epilepsy”, states Dr. Terry Klassen Medical Director, Child Health Program, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and CEO & Scientific Director, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. ”The difference Lilibeth & Michael Schlater’s donation will make is outstanding. Not only will this new program be established, but the fact that the financial burden related to out-of-province travel will likely diminish for these patients is one of the benefits of having a program at home.”
When Michael Schlater’s daughter was five-years old, she experienced her first seizure. Fast forward to Mr. Schlater turning 47 when he also experienced his first seizure and became well versed in this area. Upon hearing of Manitoba’s lack of an Epilepy program, Schlater immediately wanted to help.
“I am proud to return to Winnipeg and give a gift that will last lifetimes beyond mine”, states Michael Schlater, Chief Executive Officer, Domino’s Pizza of Canada Ltd. “Knowing that Lilibeth and I are able to help thousands of children get care in their home province fills our hearts with joy.”
Over the past three years, Mr. Schlater and family have made over $11 million in donations across the country to various charities. He now resides in Leamington, Ontario but remains a strong Winnipeg Jets fan in the city that helped him start the Domino’s dream.
“On behalf of our sick children and their families, we can’t thank Mr. Schlater and his wife, Lilibeth enough”, states Lawrence Prout, President & CEO, Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. “The needs of our Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute are great and we couldn’t make programs like these happen without generous donors like Lilibeth & Michael Schlater.”
The Paediatric Epilepsy & Paediatric Neurosurgery program will consist of a new, two-bed monitoring unit at the Children’s Hospital; the hiring of two Paediatric Epilepsy Neurologists (who will be starting in the Fall, 2017); initiating a Paediatric Epilepsy Surgery program under the direction of Dr. Demitre Serletis and the Service Chief of Paediatric Neurosurgery, Dr. Colin Kazina; acquiring specialized robotic navigations systems (ROSA); hiring support staff; and providing epilepsy related teaching and education for patients, caregivers and the general public. In addition, epilepsy research will take place at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. Planning has started and the hospital will officially start seeing patients in 2018.