This scrappy mom fighting for kids’ care

When Sarah Hodgkinson’s infant daughter stopped breathing, the Children’s Hospital at the London Health Sciences Centre gave her another chance. Three years later, little Ema still seeks treatment there for her rare skin disorder, Congenital Ichthyosis Erythroderma.

Because her body produces too many skin cells, Ema’s skin is always extremely dry, itchy and sore.  She sheds about three tablespoons of skin a week just in her bedroom.
Hodgkinson said her condition affects one in 250,000 people and was caused by a genetic mutation. “We complain about it every day”, she said. “But it’s not Leukemia. It can’t kill her.”

To thank the Children’s Hospital for saving Ema’s life, Hodgkinson is giving back.
Hodgkinson, 34, is fundraising for the hospital by doing what she loves – scrapbooking.
The Woodstock mother of two organized a non-stop weekend of so-called ‘cropping’, cutting and preparing materials for scrapbooks. The event, Canada’s Scrapbooking Crop for Kids London, takes place a the Four Points Sheraton Ballroom, which Hodgkinson hopes to fill with 200 scrapbookers. The event began yesterday and continues through tomorrow. Volunteers will make baby albums for the sick infants at Children’s Hospital, said Jill Osborne, development officer at the Children’s Health Foundation.
“Families love that people are thinking about them at these difficult times.”

Hodgkinson can relate.

“Scrapbooking was therapy for me when my daughter stopped breathing.” she said.
The fundraiser is nationwide, operated by five other moms who want to give back to children’s hospitals. The events will take place simultaneously in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Saint John, N.B. The six women have set a fundraising goal of $200,000 and hope to raise $40,000 in London alone.

This isn’t Hodgkinson’s first hospital funding effort.

“She’s a dynamo,” said Bruce Wray of the Children’s Health Foundation. Wray met Hodgkinson when she first came to the hospital with her daughter. She approached him about buying beds for parents staying with their children in the hospital. “Before we knew it, we were getting discounts on the beds.” But when Hodgkinson came to him about the scrapbooking fundraiser, Wray was out of his element.

“I know squat about scrapbooking, so I just sat back and watched in awe.”

The event, at 1150 Wellington Rd. S., runs until 3:30 p.m. tomorrow.

BY KATHERINE LOW for THE LONDON FREE PRESS – Special to Sun Media

((caption)) LOFTY GOAL: Sarah Hodgkinson of Woodstock is the catalyst behind Canada’s Scrapbooking for Kids this weekend at the Four Points Sheraton. Hodgkinson hopes to raise $40,000 for the Children’s Health Foundation at London’s event and $200,000 nationally.

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