By Lynn Wilson
From our first meeting with LifeLabs, we knew we were entering into a relationship that would go beyond the typical corporate sponsorship, but we had no idea how rich the collaboration would turn out to be.
In August 2017, LifeLabs pledged $200,000 to POGO, becoming the “Proud Partner” of our Pajamas and Pancakes fundraising campaign. Over the past four years, that pledge has turned into a total of $276,149.83 (to date!), and our relationship with LifeLabs and its employees has evolved and grown greatly over that time. Together, we are improving patient care and transforming the cancer journey for children, youth, their families and survivors in Ontario and beyond.
Raising Funds and Building Awareness
LifeLabs’ endorsement of POGO’s Pajamas and Pancakes Program, a fun and flexible do-it-yourself fundraiser, has not only helped POGO raise more than $276K over the years (including fundraising campaigns generated from their own staff!), but also involved a widespread advertising campaign on GO trains and other media across the GTA to help raise awareness about the program and childhood cancer.
Their annual investment in the POGO Multidisciplinary Symposium has helped our healthcare professionals remain at the forefront of the rapidly advancing field of pediatric oncology.
As an organization that has been committed to building a healthier Canada for over 50 years, LifeLabs understands the toll cancer treatment can take on our families. In 2019, together with London Health Sciences Centre, we piloted a drop-in blood collection program at select LifeLabs service centres to make it easier for families with children fighting cancer to access lab testing that is required to inform treatment decisions. Lab results were available within 12 hours, saving families both time and money.
“We know that when LifeLabs and its employees contribute to POGO, we are helping children and families access the best available care and supportive services during a very difficult time,” says Charles Brown, President and CEO, LifeLabs. “One of LifeLabs’ core values is caring and our employees live that value by supporting incredible organizations in communities across Canada every day.”
Whether they are attending POGO events or volunteering at community events to benefit our families across Ontario, LifeLabs’ employees go the extra mile. In 2019, the LifeLabs’ Sudbury Fun Day held at the POGO Satellite Clinic in the Northeast Cancer Centre brought games, crafts, PJs, gift cards and smiles to over 30 families in treatment. This year, 81 employees signed up for the Toronto Women’s Run with all funds raised benefitting POGO and the families we serve.
At POGO, we value our partnerships and we are inspired by our passionate donors who share our vision. Thank you LifeLabs!
Lynn Wilson is POGO’s Chief Development Officer responsible for the planning and management of POGO’s fundraising, communications and government engagement initiatives.
Support from LifeLabs has helped provide financial assistance to families so they can pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with their child’s treatment, support survivors with customized school and work counselling when their disease or its treatment has left them with learning challenges, and fund promising research that examines the impact of childhood cancer and its treatment.