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The Gift of a Second Chance

Jennie and Chris Postma are philanthropists in the truest sense of the word.

When asked why she and her husband, who are monthly donors to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, have also made a gift in their Wills, Jennie’s message is simple: “We love kids,” she says.

Equally important is their gratitude for the care their grandsons received at BC Children’s Hospital.

As infants, Jennie and Chris’s grandsons Andrew Olydam and Conrad Tiedeman needed specialized treatment, and the only place they could get it was BC Children’s. Andrew, born in 1984, suffered from acute bouts of swelling. His condition, a malformation of the lymph vessels that supply the lining of the small intestine, is so rare that his local pediatrician had never encountered it.

At BC Children’s, Andrew received the care he needed – including a special diet that allowed him to grow normally even though his body couldn’t digest fat. Still, until he was two years old, Andrew’s immune system was severely compromised, and he was in and out of the hospital.

Then, in 1989, Andrew’s cousin Conrad was born at 30 weeks, weighing a mere three pounds. With both lungs collapsed and one punctured, he wasn’t expected to survive his first 24 hours.

But Conrad had other ideas. He clung to life through two weeks on life support and six months on a ventilator. By the time he flew home to Whitehorse – decked out in nasal prongs and accompanied by paramedics – Conrad was 14 months old. He had spent his first year and two months at BC Children’s.

Fortunately, both boys’ stories have happy endings. Andrew and his wife welcomed their first child in late 2015. Conrad recently graduated from university with a combined degree in political science, economics and history.

“We hope doctors and nurses can do for other people’s grandchildren what they did for our grandsons,” says Jennie.

To learn more about how to include a gift to BC Children’s Hospital in your estate plans, please contact our Gift and Estate Planning team at 604.875.2444 or toll-free at 1.888.663.3033. You can also email us at legacy@bcchf.ca or visit us at bcchf.ca/legacy.


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