September 9, 2015
Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation Announces 2015/2016 Champion Child
Cohyn Wells of Moose Jaw is only nine-years-old but he’s already had thirteen surgeries in his short life. Cohyn is this year’s Saskatchewan Champion for the Champions Presented by Walmart program. The North American program, organized by Children’s Miracle Network, honours remarkable children who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges. Each Champion acts as an international ambassador for his or her Children’s Miracle Network member hospital.
“I tell people my story so they can be strong and brave,” says Cohyn, who had his first surgery when he was less than a day old.
Cohyn was born with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, and a Chairi Malformation, which means that he was born with a structural defect in the part of the brain that controls balance. Cohyn has also since developed syringomyelia, a rare progressive disease that affects his spinal cord. Every one of his surgeries has been accompanied by a lengthy hospital stay and recovery period.
These surgeries and challenges rarely slow Cohyn down for long. When he started kindergarten he showed his fellow students a model skeleton to explain how and why he was different. His classmates’ understanding of his conditions, coupled with his concern for everyone to feel included, has created a happy boy with a compassionate heart and a sense of adventure. With more surgery in his future, Cohyn is just one of the many children who will, on occasion, call the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan home.
“He’s all about wanting to make things better for other kids, and he really wants a new children’s hospital. He wants people to know that it’s important,” says mom Kristyn Wells. “I’m super proud of him because he has been through so much stuff and he is still so positive through it. I really want people to know how strong he is, that he is leading a normal life and has a bright future ahead of him.”
In February, Cohyn, his parents, and his two brothers will attend Children’s Miracle Network festivities in Toronto along with other Canadian Champions. The family will then travel to DisneyWorld in Orlando to meet with Champions from across North America.
About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 390 stores nationwide, including 247 supercentres, serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. In addition, Walmart Canada’s flagship online store, walmart.ca, is visited by 300,000 customers daily. With more than 95,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada’s largest employers and is ranked one of Canada’s top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada’s extensive philanthropy program is focused on helping Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart has donated and raised more than $200 million to Canadian charities. Additional company information can be found at walmartcanada.ca, facebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/@walmartcanada.
Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan
The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is dedicated to raising funds for the enhancement of children’s healthcare and the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. We are the Saskatchewan member of Children’s Miracle Network, 100% dedicated to Saskatchewan children and their hospital, and proud partners of the Saskatoon and Regina Qu’Appelle Health Regions on the children’s hospital project. For more information please visit www.pattisonchildrens.ca