Caitlin Hoskins chosen Children’s Wish Ambassador

Emerald Gala kicks off Children’s Wish month


Published on March 17, 2017

Caitlin Hoskins of Britannia, Random Island, was chosen Children’s Wish Ambassador for the organization’s 2017 Emerald Gala.

©Contributed photo

Caitlin Hoskins of Random Island said she was honoured to be chosen the Children’s Wish Foundation’s Wish Ambassador for the its 2017 Emerald Gala held at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s on March 11.

“I wish nothing but the best for the foundation to keep granting wishes to the children that are struggling medically,” Caitlin said in a recent Facebook post.

The 18-year-old knows what it’s like to struggle medically.

During her speech at the gala, Caitlin explained her medical condition.

She was born with a condition called true venous vascular malformation. The condition causes extra blood vessels in the embryo sac that appear somewhere on the body.

“Appearing on the eyes, ears, nose, throat or mouth areas can be dangerous and possibly life threatening, mine developed on the mouth,” she said.

Caitlin had numerous laser treatments here in Newfoundland as well as frequently scelerotherapy in Montreal.

She referred to Montreal as her second home for the past 16 years. Her next trip to Montreal will be number 40, she said.

“I have had treatment on my lip, jaw, chin and throat areas. At present the doctors are working on my tongue. My tongue is too big for my mouth. This has caused me to have trouble eating and speaking.”

Caitlin related an incident in 2014 during her treatment in Montreal when her medical condition turned life-threatening.

“My tongue was swelled to a size of a tennis ball, I started to vomit, with nowhere for the vomit to escape it aspirated back into my lungs which caused my lungs to collapse. Then infection set in. I was unable to breathe on my own. While the doctors worked on trying to suction the fluids of my lungs, being able to breathe became impossible. I was fighting for my life.”

Caitlin won that fight and in August 2015 was granted a wish from the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Her initial thoughts were to go to Nashville. However, she decided on a vacation in sunny Jamaica.

Caitlin felt that the trip would be an opportunity of a lifetime, not only for her but for her brother Gregory, who was 16 years old when the family headed Jamaica in 2016.

“It has always been Gregory's wish to swim with the dolphins.”

For, Caitlin, the trip was a gift from her to her younger brother.

“Being born with a life threatening illness … growing up all the attention was always focused on making sure I was doing okay and I was being the healthiest I could be. Meanwhile, all these trips to Montreal were quite costly therefore Gregory couldn't come,” she told those attending the gala.

Caitlin said her brother often felt left out when their parents (Julie and Paul Hoskins) focused on her needs.

“So, I wanted to give Gregory something that he had always wanted and that was to swim with the dolphins - to let him live in the moment,” Caitlin said.

The trip was a memorable experience for the entire family, she said.

“The look on Gregory's face when the dolphins lifted him out of the water made me so happy on the inside. Best of all, I got to share this whole experience with my family.”

Caitlin went on to thank her sponsor, Ernst & Young, for making her wish come true.

“On behalf of the sick children and their families, I give a sincere thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, and coordinators of the foundation. Without a team like you, wishes would not be granted. Hats off to everyone,” she said as she ended her speech.

danette@nl.rogers.com

 

Emerald Gala raises $70,000 for more wishes

 

March is Children’s Wish Month.

The success of this year’s Emerald Gala of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador means many more children will have their wishes granted.

“The Emerald Gala was a successful evening and, in spite of the category 2 hurricane that threatened to cancel our event, we still managed to raise just over $70,000 to grant wishes,” said Edie Newton, provincial director of the NL Chapter.

The Children’s Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with a life-threatening, complex genetic or neurological illness.

Newton noted a 2017 Children’s Wish Impact Study reveals that wishes have a positive and lasting impact on wish children and their families, beyond the experience of the actual wish.

Wishes help to aid the overall healing process, provide a distraction that helps children cope with the emotional and physical stress of treatment, improve family cohesion, and inspire wish children in long-lasting ways, she said.

Newton thanked Caitlin Hoskins for sharing her inspirational story at this year’s gala. She also gave accolades to Emcee John Sheehan and the well-known band The Once for providing entertainment.

For more about the Children’s Wish Foundation, visit: http://www.childrenswish.ca/category/chapters/newfoundland-labrador/ or call: 709-739-9474

danette@nl.rogers.com