April 17th, 2024

Children’s hospital fundraiser honours memory of local boy

By James Tubb on September 26, 2023.

Sean and Trish Rooney with daughter Samantha, holding a photo of her brother Dominic, who died on Sept. 3, 2015 from acute myeloid leukemia. PHOTO COURTESY SEAN ROONEY

SAMANTHA JOHNSON

reporter@medicinehatnews.com

Each year Sean and Trish Rooney hold a fundraiser to raise money for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Their son Dominic was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and admitted to that hospital in 2013 and died in 2015.

“He ended up spending most of his two years in hospital and died during his wish trip to Orlando,” explained Sean Rooney. “He had two hours in Disney World and then he crashed the next day.”

The Rooney’s fundraise through a charity called Extra Life, a subdivision of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Although a gaming charity, it’s an open-ended thing where the Rooney’s have a page and can fundraise how they choose, which they do through an online auction.

They started the auction the year Dominic died. “This year we don’t have a plan for how much we are going to raise. We stopped putting dollar earmarks on it. We are thrilled with whatever the community can donate and all the people that can afford to spend on it. The nice thing about it is it’s anything from $5 items up to $1,500 items and everything between,” stated Rooney.

Rooney likes to think about it as early Christmas shopping where the money spent goes to a good cause. “There are so many great businesses in town that have donated to us over the years. They’ve been really supportive and it’s a good way for us to honour Dominic.”

Rooney began a blog at dominicstrong.com the year the ordeal began and still regularly updates it. For the anniversary of Dominic’s death, their daughter Samantha, who was born after her brother’s death, decorated three rocks, which were placed on Dominic’s memorial bench.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so this auction is the perfect way to close out the month. The Rooney’s have more than 100 items going into the auction and the first 30 are now available for preview at https:// http://www.facebook.com/groups/ dominicstrong.

Bidding begins on Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. and the auction will run until Oct. 1. Visit the above Facebook page for updates, more information and to view items.

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