Victoria, Michael Garron Hospital Foundation, and “the moustache”…

It’s true there are many stories on ECHOage that make us cry, laugh, sigh. This one is unique, and worth retelling, it made us all stop and say: “Wow”. In the words of Victoria’s mom Amy, here is the story:

We live in a great house in East York, just a few blocks from Michael Garron Hospital where Victoria was born. The hospital is also where Victoria was cared for after a recent fall at school. Victoria fell and hit her head. Paramedics were called and she and I rode in the ambulance together. Victoria was captivated by the paramedics, who made her feel safe when she was scared and hurt. One of them had a crazy moustache, which Victoria thought was just about the coolest thing ever. When it was time to plan her birthday, we talked about ECHOage. Victoria said she wanted to “help kids and babies where I was born, and where “the moustache” helped me when I fell”. One of Victoria’s classmates’ dad is a police officer. When he heard about Victoria’s generosity, he felt compelled to track down “the moustache”. He found him! And he was able to come to Victoria’s birthday party to say “thank you” in person for Victoria’s donation to the hospital. They even let Victoria and her friends explore the ambulance!

Victoria has spastic dilpegia, a type of cerebral palsy (CP). CP affects everyone differently. For Victoria, she has very tight muscles in her legs, which make it difficult to walk. She wears leg braces and uses a walker to get around. Recently, we have been borrowing a used ice sledge so that she can go on school skating trips at our local arena. For her birthday, she received her very own, made-just-for-her ice sledge.

Happy Birthday To Victoria from the whole team at ECHOage! You made us cry, laugh, sigh. We’ll all be thinking of you throughout the holiday season, of you, your amazing generosity, of “the moustache” and the ice sledge. Thank you Victoria and Amy. XOXO ECHOage

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Six Year Old Avery Supported Because I Am A Girl and Got a Big Birthday Gift

Today Avery is our Hero. Here’s Why…While going through the list of charities on ECHOage, Avery’s Mom explained that Because I Am A Girl is a charity that help little girls around the world have the same rights as boys. By supporting this charity, Avery would be able to help girls go to school and have healthcare the same as the boys. When she heard that other little girls didn’t have the same right as boys she said “That’s not fair! Girls should have all the same things that boys do. I want to pick this charity.”‘

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Let them eat Cake!


My son hates birthday cake. Vanilla, chocolate or marble, if it’s got flaming candles on top, he’s not having any of it. Don’t get me wrong, he loves cake. And cupcakes. And cookies. But throw on a birthday greeting and some blobs of melted wax and he’s out.

 After a few wasted cakes that I’d end up eating alone, I decided he should maybe choose his own cake. Despite protestations that he didn’t want any cake, I managed to convince him that a party’s not a party without the traditional singing Happy Birthday and cutting into some sweet and sugary confection. He wandered around the bakery, carefully examining each cake before finally choosing a gussied up cherry cheesecake, dripping with FD & C Red No. 40.

 We sang. He blew out the candles. We passed around the cake. He didn’t eat it.

 And then he ‘fessed up: he wanted me to make the cake. So the following year I did. And the year after that. My two other kids have hopped on the bandwagon as well.  If it’s not a homemade birthday cake, they’re not interested. Now I do cakes: instant cakes, cookie cakes, ice-cream cakes. Sprinkle cakes, cakes with fun fonts, cupcake-cakes.

 Expectations run high. Each cake has to be better, tastier, and grander than the one before.  I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to take the pressure. I’ve already warned them my repertoire’s nearly maxed out. But they don’t believe me. And on I bake….

 Let them eat cake? Not my boys. They’re not interested. Unless it’s a homemade extravaganza the likes of which they’ve never seen before.  Next year I’ll be throwing a fistful of candles onto a cheese pizza. Let them eat pie.