Showing heart

(Edmonton) This weekend, University of Alberta medical students will go above and beyond their intended goal of helping patients when they are sick by raising money for the families of sick children.

The annual Affair of the Heart event is set for Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Fantasyland Hotel. This year the students are raising money for the Children’s Heart Society. It is a local non-profit organization made up of parents who have had children with congenital and acquired heart diseases.

The organization provides support in terms of funding for research, community support for parents of sick children and financial support if necessary.

“I think the value of this comes in the fact that this is a local organization, and all the money is staying in the community,” said Maryam Soleimani, second-year medical student and one of the organizers for the event. “I think any parent who has had a sick child, even if you’re just in the emergency room, knows how valuable support could be.”

A lot of the children and families who are involved with this organization don’t even leave the hospital after they’re born, and they stay in the hospital for weeks.

“We’re trained to provide medical care for patients like this but we all feel the need to take that a step further and provide support and be advocates for our patients and the community as well because that’s equally important in caring for our patients,” said Soleimani.

Money is raised through ticket sales, silent auctions and private donations. The organizers hope to raise more than $14,000 this year.