Back to top

IWK Patients & Brothers Announced as 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Champions

January 13, 2019 (Bridgewater, NS) – Earlier this morning, 11-year old brothers Ben and Jiesheng Boutilier, from Bridgewater, NS, were officially announced as this year’s 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Champions for the IWK at a special celebration held at Walmart Canada’s Bridgewater Supercentre.

Throughout 2020 Ben and Jiesheng, and their family, will represent children and youth who receive care and treatment at the IWK Health Centre by sharing their story at fundraising campaigns and events in the Maritimes and the United States. The Children's Miracle Network Champions is a special program that brings together children representing 12 children’s hospital foundations across Canada to celebrate pediatric health and wellness.

“The Boutilier family have been sharing their IWK story for many years now, so we are thrilled to name Ben and Jiesheng as this year’s 2020 Champions, “ says Keely Wallace, Manager of Community & Corporate Giving at the IWK Foundation. “Both brothers have a deep connection to the IWK that was formed from the moment they each stepped through the doors to receive care there. They, along with their family, continue to be open to sharing their story to help inspire others to support the IWK.”

Brothers Ben and Jiesheng first met in an orphanage in China and were later adopted at separate times by Alicia and Joe Boutilier. Since their arrival in Nova Scotia the brothers have both received care at the IWK.

Diagnosed with scoliosis, Ben’s spinal cord is tethered around his spine restricting movement that will eventually require surgical intervention. Jiesheng has a congenital disorder called Arthrogryposis which means many of his joints are curved. He required 17 weekly casts, along with surgery, to help slowly move his bones in the right direction.

Both brothers are excited about becoming this year’s Champions. “The IWK is like home for us,” says Ben. “Everyone is really nice.” Jiesheng added, “We really hope that by being the Champions we can make people happy and help all the kids at the IWK.”

In April, 2020, Ben and Jiesheng, along with their siblings and their parents Alicia and Joe, will travel to Orlando, Florida. There they will participate in events at Children’s Hospitals Week with other patients and their families from across North America who know first-hand the importance of having access to critical and specialized pediatric care. Children’s Hospitals Week is proudly supported through the sponsorship of Children’s Miracle Network partners Walmart Canada, The Brick, and the Air Canada Foundation.


About the IWK Foundation
The IWK Foundation is a champion of excellence in women's and children's health and medicine and works in partnership with the IWK Health Centre to support their vision of providing quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritime Provinces and beyond. Our donors are passionately committed to making a difference for Maritime families, contributing more than $15 million to the most urgent care priorities at the IWK last year. Funds raised also support the IWK's global leadership in research and knowledge sharing, which in turn improves lives worldwide. For more information, visit

About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals, 12 of which are in Canada. These hospitals, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Established in 1983, Children’s Miracle Network raises funds to support critical research, education, purchase life-saving equipment, and ensure excellence in care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

For more information, please contact:

Penny Sears
Integrated Brand Advisor
IWK Foundation