Stories - Our Kids

Dawson's Story

At first, they thought it was an allergy. But as his condition deteriorated, Dawson’s parents knew something was terribly wrong.

Born on January 5, 2010, Dawson Smart was the bright and active 14 month old son of Jamie and Amy Smart from Carberry, Manitoba. At first, Dawson’s tummy was distended, and then he began to look increasingly unwell. Amy and Jamie saw their family doctor who immediately referred them to Winnipeg and the Emergency Department of the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba. And as Dawson’s mother remembers, “We could not have been sent to a better place.”

An ultrasound found a cancerous tumor on Dawson’s kidney — a 3 pound tumor in a 22 pound little boy. Treatment began at once and from the get go, donors like you were right there with Dawson thanks to your generous financial support of the equipment, programs, and people that helped him. First, there was chemotherapy to reduce the tumor’s size and then surgery in late April 2011, followed by a week of radiation. It was a hard go but Dawson was soon well on the way to recovery. Through the entire ordeal, he remained his cheerful self, and his parents have nothing but praise for the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba.

The staff was simply fantastic,” says Amy. “They reassured us every step of the way, clearly addressed concerns and helped lessen our worries, especially when we didn’t know the results of that first ultrasound.” Little things meant so much, like the brightly coloured blanket, lovingly made and left as a gift by the Children’s Hospital Guild’s Sew4Kids members — a ray of sunshine in a dark time.

Friendly staff support and professionalism truly made the things bearable.

Today, Dawson is a happy, healthy 6 year old with a “gentle, thoughtful spirit.” Enrolled in kindergarten, he plays hockey, soccer and golf and enjoys all his family’s outings. He has two more check-ups at the hospital this year and his parents are confident that all will be well.

Thanks to the support of donors like you, Dawson received the treatment he needed. When asked what she would say to anyone considering leaving a legacy gift to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Amy is crystal clear: “Please do it! The gift doesn’t have to be large but it can help make a huge difference in the life of a sick child and to an anxious family.”