Pint-sized storybook characters glided across the ice at the Jim Lind Arena in West Kelowna for the fifth annual Princess and Superhero skate on Monday.
Donning capes, cowls and all sorts of ballrooms dresses, the children were all smiles.
But it’s a bittersweet day for event founder Natelle Moench. She started the skate in honour of her daughter Paige, who died Aug. 6, 2013.
Paige, who was always “smiling, dancing and as relaxed as could be,” was diagnosed with a cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukemia in February 2013. The toddler endured painful and invasive procedures for months that at times left her in the ICU. By July 2013 Moench’s family moved from the British Columbia Children’s Hospital to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice for palliative care. Less than six months from the day she was diagnosed she passed away.
To deal with her grief in the aftermath of that loss, Moench turned her focus to raising funds for the Paige Foundation, which focuses on pediatric cancer research.
It started with a bottle drive, then a family skate at the Capital News Centre and, to date, it’s raised $50,000 that’s gone to cancer research.
In addition to supporting a cause that matters, Moench said it’s heartening to see the community come together.
“Families and parents can really understand how hard it is to watch your child be sick,” she said, adding it’s good to feel the community’s support during the event.
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