Eight month old Skye Roulette’s family will tell you the value of BC Children’s Hospital. Born 3½ months premature, weighing one pound and two ounces, the little girl spent the first six months of her life in the infant ICU, with her mom Kristine Balfour staying in Vancouver at the Ronald McDonald House nearby.
“It was really hard to see all the kids that need to be treated every day, but they were the strongest people,” said Balfour. Although it was a sad time, she found the children inspiring. She said the children’s hospital is filling a great need, as people travel great distances from all over the province and Yukon.
“Most stories had happy endings,” said Balfour. “There is a great need, so anything we can do to help to get medical care and treatment, anything we can do to help them forever.”
It’s the tenth annual Save-On-Foods’ BC Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament at Granite Point Golf Course on Sunday. With $8,000 raised in 2014, Save-On-Foods hopes the tournament will grow even more. All the funds raised go to help the kids who need special care at the hospital.
Born at 28 weeks, Skye has come a long way since then. Now home in Nelson, she weighs more than 11 pounds but is on low flow oxygen to make sure her lungs are still developing.
While Kristine lived at Ronald McDonald House for 4½ months as Skye remained in the ICU, husband Wade Roulette travelled back and forth on weekends from Nelson to continue working.
Balfour and her husband saw “so many children” as outpatients for oncology staying at the Ronald McDonald House on downtime from their treatments.
“We noticed how great the need is, and until you have the need, you don’t know how many children are being helped. That place is busy, busy, busy.”
The family made several friends there and got to know many doctors at the hospital.
“It’s crazy to see the amount of dedication,” said Balfour. “It takes certain type of people to be able to do that job.”
With Skye’s age and size, she qualified for some studies which can help the staff find anything they can do to improve their technology or treatment.
“They are a teaching and research hospital,” said Balfour, “so a couple of studies that Skye was a part of, like pain management, they can implement rapidly, keeping up with the times and being the best they can be.”
Skye will be on a neonatal follow-up program through her life, including keeping track of the bilateral laser eye surgery she had at three months. The family will have to travel two to three times a year until she is five. Then it will likely drop to once a year until she is in her teens.
Living away from home, Balfour said she appreciated the well-wishes she received, as well as an online auction that will continue to fund several developmental follow up appointments to Children’s Hospital, and the assistance of Nelson Friends of Friends.
“They are amazing support,” she said. “They reached out to us because we didn’t even really know that it existed.”
Sunday’s tournament is a four-person scramble. It costs $100 per person for golf and dinner. Registration is at 10 a.m. and the shotgun start is at noon. For more info contact Ted Murrell at 250-352-7617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.