About Bloorview

Organizational Accountability: Annual Report


Image of Lena McNeill

The Child: Lena McNeill, 10

The Challenge: Bone cancer – “in the same spot as Terry Fox” – Lena notes, surgery to remove the tumour and most of her tibia and replace it with an ankle-to-thigh metal rod. Months of gruelling chemotherapy made it impossible for Lena to do the therapy needed to get her up walking.

Image of Lena McNeill

The Treatment: Ten weeks of inpatient physiotherapy at Bloorview – including painful leg stretches, knee bends and walking balance beams and treadmills – to strengthen her stiff leg, improve flexibility in her knee, and get her walking independently.

The Team: Trischa Lowe, physiotherapist; Mariza Quinta, physiotherapy assistant; Michelle Bernardi, child-life specialist; Joan Burbano, school teacher; Clare Healy, recreation therapist; Andrea Hoffman, occupational therapist.

The Results: Lena rolled into Bloorview in a wheelchair, progressed to a walker and is being discharged with a cane. “She’s my hero,” says mom Cathy McNeill.

The Legacy: Lena is working with Bloorview Kids Foundation to create a bravery beads program. Inpatients collect beads on necklaces – each marking a painful procedure or special accomplishment during the rehab process.

Full story on Lena

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