Sarahs Fund

Founders’ Message: From our family to yours

Dear Friends,
We are Lorena and Norman, the proud parents of Sarah Cook and the founders of Sarah’s Fund for Cedars, devoted to improving the experiences of children with cancer during their stay on Sarah’s Floor at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and providing vital support to their families. As parents who have walked this journey ourselves, we wanted to take a moment to share our story and the mission of Sarah’s Fund with you.
Over 20 years ago, our daughter, who has become our inspiration, was diagnosed with cancer at eight years old. As we confronted this new reality, our lives were transformed overnight. We found ourselves spending countless hours in hospital rooms and navigating the daunting complexities of cancer care.
We were terrified and overwhelmed. Yet, amidst the chaos, we found a sense of strength. And it came from the place we least expected it: Sarah herself. We saw resilience, courage, and unimaginable purpose in our child’s eyes—and listened as she asked questions well beyond her years.
We also experienced firsthand the incredible power of community and support.
The kind smiles of nurses who went the extra mile to bring comfort, the fellow parents who shared our sleepless nights in waiting rooms, the notes from Sarah’s friends, the neighbours who sent thoughtful care packages—these gestures, small and big, not only brightened our days but also made the challenging journey a bit more bearable.
When Sarah began to recover, we knew we wanted to give back. We wanted to ensure that other families facing a similar situation had access to the same support and love that had helped us navigate our most challenging days.
This is why we started Sarah’s Fund.
We knew from our own experience how the hospital setting needed to be transformed into a home-away-from-home for affected children and their families—simple things like a good pillow, strong and reliable WiFi, iPads for every child, private bathrooms, and fresh fruit in the family kitchen make a world of difference.
Our goal is to bring a sense of normalcy, comfort, and support to children and their families during their hospital stays. We provide care packages filled with toys, books, and personal care items, create child-friendly spaces on Sarah’s Floor, fund pet therapy, and offer resources and support to parents and siblings.
Sarah’s Fund is more than just a charity; it’s a community. A community dedicated to standing with families when they need it the most, to share in their joys and their sorrows, and to show them they’re not alone.
We invite you to join us in this journey. There are many ways you can support Sarah’s Fund—whether by making a donation, volunteering your time, or simply sharing our mission with your personal network. Your support can make a profound difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families.
There is still more we need to do: investing additional dollars into research and innovation, funding more professional development for nurses, ensuring the kids on Sarah’s Floor have access to the latest equipment for their treatment, and acting as a bridge for children like Sarah who age out of the children’s system and have to navigate the adult heathcare system.
After over 20 years of our signature annual event, Splash and Dash, we are acutely aware of how small acts of kindness can create ripples of healing. Let us continue to make real waves in support of the kids on Sarah’s Floor.
With heartfelt thanks,
Lorena and Norman Cook