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Make-A-Wish surprises family with cruise

By: Jonathan Migneault - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Feb 08, 2014 - 4:56 PM |
Cole Guimond, centre, and his family, were surprised by Make-A-Wish Canada Saturday with a free Disney Cruise. Guimond was born with aortic valve stenosis and his family is looking to get him on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Cole Guimond, centre, and his family, were surprised by Make-A-Wish Canada Saturday with a free Disney Cruise. Guimond was born with aortic valve stenosis and his family is looking to get him on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Seven-year-old Cole Guimond got his wish

When the Guimond family went to the SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas Saturday they just expected to watch the new Lego Movie.

When the movie ended, Make-A-Wish Canada surprised the family with a fully funded Disney Cruise. They are expected to depart in September.

“I was thrilled and very surprised,” said Gerry Guimond.
His son Cole is only seven, but has already had open heart surgery.

Cole was born with aortic valve stenosis. When he was two days old he and his parents were flown to Sick Kids, in Toronto, in an effort to save his life.

The disease means Cole was born with an abnormally narrow aortic valve in his heart. The aortic valve is an important part of a functioning heart, that opens to allow blood to exit the left ventricle into the aorta – a large artery that distributes oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.

Because of his condition, Cole is always out of breath and often sick with colds. “We just want him to have a full life, like a normal child,” his father said.

The next step for Cole to live a more healthy life is a heart transplant.

First, doctors will need to determine if he is a good candidate for the procedure. If a heart transplant is possible for Cole, he will be placed on a waiting list.

Guimond said it can be a very long process because the heart would need to be exactly the right size for Cole's small frame.
Julie Nicholls, Make-A-Wish Canada's regional wish grantor, said she first met with Guimond family in 2013.

A Disney Cruise was Cole's first wish. His second was to visit Legoland in Toronto, and his third was to be a hockey player for a day.

Like his father and older brother, Cole is a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens.
He is also a Lego fanatic. For his seventh birthday, one of his aunts started a campaign online for people to donate Lego boxes to Cole. His family was able to surprise him with more than 100 Lego kits thanks to the campaign.

Guimond, an avid motorcycle enthusiast, said his motorcycle club, Independent Motorcycle Corporation, has been like his second family, and recently raised $10,000 to help he and his wife cover expenses when Cole goes into treatment.

He said the money will allow them to take time off work for their frequent trips to Sick Kids in Toronto.

The motorcycle club plans to raise funds in future years for other children and families in need.
 
Jonathan Migneault

Jonathan Migneault

Staff Writer

@jmigneault

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