Eleven year old brothers Ben and Jiesheng Boutilier, from Bridgewater, NS, are this year’s 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Champions for the IWK. Ben and Jiesheng, and their family, will represent children and youth who receive care and treatment at the IWK Health Centre by sharing their story at fundraising campaigns and events in the Maritimes and the United States. The Children’s Miracle Network Champions brings together children representing 12 children’s hospital foundations across Canada to celebrate pediatric health and wellness.
“The Boutilier family have been sharing their IWK story for many years now, so we are thrilled to name Ben and Jiesheng as this year’s 2020 Champions,” says Keely Wallace, Manager of Community & Corporate Giving at the IWK Foundation. “Both brothers have a deep connection to the IWK that was formed from the moment they each stepped through the doors to receive care there. They, along with their family, continue to be open to sharing their story to help inspire others to support the IWK.”
Brothers Ben and Jiesheng first met in an orphanage in China and were later adopted at separate times by Alicia and Joe Boutilier.
Diagnosed with scoliosis, Ben’s spinal cord is tethered around his spine restricting movement that will eventually require surgical intervention. Jiesheng has a congenital disorder called Arthrogryposis which means many of his joints are curved. He required 17 weekly casts, along with surgery, to help slowly move his bones in the right direction.
Both brothers are excited about becoming this year’s Champions. “The IWK is like home for us,” says Ben. “Everyone is really nice.” Jiesheng added, “We really hope that by being the Champions we can make people happy and help all the kids at the IWK.”
In April Ben and Jiesheng, and families will travel to Orlando, Florida to participate in events at Children’s Hospitals Week with other patients and their families from across North America. iwkfoundation.org, ChildrensMiracleNetwork.ca