Rebekah Winsor recognized as Janeway’s Champion Child

Paul Herridge
Published on September 18, 2013
Grace Hart, left, last year’s Janeway Champion Child, symbolically passed the torch, in the form of a trophy, to her successor for 2013-14, Rebekah Winsor, a daughter of Matt and Laura Winsor of Little St. Lawrence, at Walmart in Marystown Wednesday morning. The company sponsors the Children’s Miracle Network’s Champion Child program across Canada.
Paul Herridge Photo

Laura Winsor acknowledged the Janeway Children’s Hospital saved her daughter Rebekah’s life when she suddenly fell ill last year.

“The Janeway works miracles, they really do, and she’s one of them.”

Wednesday morning, Mrs. Winsor, Rebekah and other family members were at Walmart in Marystown, where the little girl was introduced as the Janeway’s representative for the Children’s Miracle Network’s Champion Child program for 2013-14.

During the event, last year’s recipient, Grace Hart, who was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia when she was six months old and depends on regular blood transfusions, symbolically passed the torch, in the form of a trophy, to her successor.

In late June 2012, Rebekah, who was five-years-old at the time, began complaining of headaches that turned out to be far more serious, ultimately requiring emergency surgery at the St. John’s facility for a life-threatening bleed on her brain.

The Winsors – Laura and husband Matt – live in Little St. Lawrence along with their three other children.

As the Janeway’s Champion Child, Rebekah, accompanied by her family, will first travel to Toronto next month, meeting up with other champion representatives from children’s hospitals across the country. The entire group will then head to Walt Disney World in Florida. 

Jenine Kerrivan, manager of major gifts with the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation, acknowledged Walmart is one of the organization’s biggest supporters, raising approximately $440,000 in the province last year, in addition to sponsoring the Champion Child program.

“Today, (Rebekah) is with us because we have the money to do the research, to purchase the equipment, to pay for the programming and to keep out hospital in tip-top shape so that we can provide the best possible care to all our kids throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.”

A large group of Rebekah’s schoolmates from St. Lawrence Academy were bussed in for the event during which, in her mom’s arms, she took to the microphone to offer her appreciation.

“I was really sick in the Janeway and they made me feel better. Thank you to the Janeway and thank you to Walmart!”

Marystown Walmart also presented the family with $1,000 gift card to help with the trip.