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IWK Founders Club

The Founders Club is a special group of individual donors who contribute $500 or more throughout the calendar year and collectively have a huge impact on the delivery of patient care at the IWK. Founders receive exclusive recognition for their exceptional generosity.

"I have been a Founder since 1999 because of my love for children." -Pauline Hicks, New Brunswick.

2024 Founders Ambassador

We're excited to introduce your new IWK Founder’s Club Patient Ambassador, Ellis Ferrish from Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

Ellis was born with several orthopedic conditions, including dislocated hips, a rare foot deformity and scoliosis (a curved spine). At 15 days old, she was referred by her hospital team in Prince Edward Island to the IWK.

Through genetic testing, Ellis was diagnosed with RYR-1 myopathy, a rare and inherited muscle disease that presents symptoms such as muscle weakness, muscle cramping and pain, and a severe reaction to certain drugs used for anesthesia. Unfortunately, there is no cure; however, Ellis will live a normal lifespan.

Ellis has had many procedures and assessments at the IWK, from CT scans and serial casting to muscle biopsies, surgeries and inpatient stays. In 2021, she had Magnetic Controlled Growth Rods (MAGEC rods) placed in her back to help treat her scoliosis and she visits the IWK’s Orthopaedic Clinic every six weeks to have the rods lengthened.

While Ellis uses a wheelchair, this certainly doesn’t slow her down. Now eight years old, she is well-adjusted and enjoys participating in Girl Guides, spending time with her brothers and playing Challenger Baseball, an inclusive program for children with disabilities.

Ellis’ parents, Lori and Trent, are thankful to have the IWK here in the Maritimes, close to Prince Edward Island. They say, “If we didn’t have the support of the IWK, we’d be travelling so much further, or we’d have to move to be closer to a children’s hospital. Supporting the IWK enables our child to grow and thrive.”

Thank you for helping patients like Ellis.

As a member of our Founders Club, you ensure patients like Ellis have access to the critical and life-saving care that the IWK provides in our region.

Your generosity helps the IWK purchase vital medical equipment such as syringe infusion pumps, which Ellis relied on during her surgeries to safely and precisely deliver small volumes of medication or fluids through her IV.

A Message to Founders from Ellis Ferrish