Bay Roberts mothers stroll for the Janeway

Nicholas Mercer
Published on June 3, 2014
Heather Norman (left) organzied the first Stroll for the Janeway in the Bay Roberts region on May 30. Shown here walking next to Norman is Kimberly Parsons.
Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass

Spaniard’s Bay mother Kerilynn Mercer experienced first hand the work done by the staff at the Janeway Children’s Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in St. John’s.

When her son, Ethan, was born six weeks ago, Kerilynn and her husband Peter spent two weeks travelling back and forth checking on their son.

They soon found the staff at the prominent children’s hospital to be second to none.

While Ethan was being cared for at the Janeway, Peter and Kerilynn spent as much time as they could with their newborn child.

“The staff has been nothing but fantastic,” said Kerilynn. “They’re very compassionate and caring.”

It is not just the children who are well cared for, it is the parents as well.

 “They’re excellent. If you wanted to, you could spend your entire day there except for one hour when they have quiet time for the babies,” said Kerilynn.

The Janeway showed the Mercers unparalleled care and kindness.

That’s why when Kerilynn found out about the Stroll for the Janeway happening in Bay Roberts she had to be a part of it.

It was a short preparation time for her. She only heard of the fundraising event a week prior to the scheduled date.

Despite the late start, Kerilynn was able to raise $800 in aid of the hospital.

“You don’t realize the work they do until you experience it first hand,” she said. “That’s why it is so important to us.

“I figure it was nice to give back.”


The stroll

The stroll brought together some 28 moms, 21 babies, two children and one dog on the afternoon of May 31 at the Wilbur Sparkes Complex in Bay Roberts.

With the aid of the Bay Roberts Volunteer Fire Department and the Avalon North Wolverines search & rescue, the group did a five kilometre walk around the community.

Organized by Heather Norman, the group raised some $4,900 for the Janeway.

“We thought it would be nice to get some of the moms out,” she said. “Some of them are new moms as well and it would be a good opportunity for them to meet new people.”

With that in mind, Norman set about organizing what will be an annual fundraiser for the Janeway.

It was a little over a week ago when the idea was formulated and ironed out.

Norman put the word out over social media and the response led her to go ahead with the fundraiser.

“I knew it was a good idea, but where it was short notice, I wasn’t sure what the response would be,” she said. “It’s coming together pretty good.”

Norman’s motivation is easy to see. Her son, Luke, spent a week at the Janeway when he was born.

“Being a new mom, I’ve met a lot of other moms who have spent time at the Janeway, and it felt like a good thing to try,” she said.