Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dairy Queen: girl who had heart transplant as a baby pays back by serving up ice cream at fundraiser

Nine-year-old Sarah Edge, who had a heart transplant before her first birthday, serves ice cream with help from employee Brittney Bonnetta at Dairy Queen located at Chemong Rd.

By ELIZABETH BOWER The Peterborough Examiner

Peterborough, Ontario - Peterborough's Sarah Edge — who had a heart transplant before her first birthday — was serving Blizzards at Dairy Queen on Thursday to help raise money for Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

The nine-year-old was the SickKids ambassador during the annual Miracle Treat Day fundraiser through Children's Miracle Network.

The network's fundraiser raises money for children's hospitals across Canada and proceeds from Blizzards sold at the Peterborough Dairy Queen were going to the SickKids Foundation.

Readers may remember Sarah, now 9, from 2005 when The Examiner profiled her as the 2006 Heart Month campaign ambassador through the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Her mother Diane Edge said Sarah's health has been blissfully uneventful for the past few years except for one bad case of pneumonia in 2009.

Sarah is happy and healthy and set to enter Grade 4 at Ecole Monseigneur Jamot in September.

Yes, she speaks French, Sarah said with a nod, and she likes school as well as horseback riding.

Diane said there's a constant worry that Sarah may eventually need another transplant. Doctors told her Sarah may need a new heart five to 10 years after the transplant.

It's year eight. She said she watches Sarah closely for signs of illness and enjoys each moment with her.

In the meantime, the family was happy to help out SickKids, the facility where she had the transplant and where she continues to get follow-up care.

Last year, SickKids got more than $300,000 from Miracle Treat Day thanks to donations from Dairy Queens across the region, said SickKids representative Lindsay Preston, who was in Peterborough on Thursday for the event.

She didn't know how much of that money came from Peterborough and area locations, she said.

NOTE: Sarah Edge won several medals during last year's National Transplant Games in Quebec after competing in the 50-meter race, long jump, bowling and a ball-throwing event similar to shot put, says her mother Diane Edge. Sarah plans to compete again next year in the games, which are to be held in Calgary, Diane said.

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