A poignant way to celebrate Mother’s Day

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When four-year-old Meagan Bebenek died in 2001 of a brain tumour, her mother, Denise, was looking for a way to honour her little girl. Even at the tender age of four, she had shown an instinct to give to others.

So with her husband, Kevin, and older children, Matthew and Sarah Grace, she conceived of the idea of a family Mother’s Day walk, ending in a giant hug around SickKids Hospital.

The 13th annual event has been branded “The Year of the Hug” as it symbolizes the coming together of a compassionate community. It starts at Old Fort York with opening ceremonies at 8:45. Families will head out around 10 a.m. to walk the five kilometres to SickKids, arriving around 11 a.m. for the great hospital hug. After closing remarks and performances, the event ends with a giant street party.

Not only does Meagan’s Walk raise awareness for pediatric brain tumours (a leading cause of death among young people), it also raises money – to date more than $3.1 million.

To register for the event or for more information, go to meaganswalk.com.


Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May 2014.

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