What generous donors have helped us do:

The inaugural Starry Night Fundraiser was held on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in honor and remembrance of our brave little boy. The event was held at Craft Cellars and consisted of a wine tasting and a silent auction.  All money that was raised for this event went to the purchase of a point of-care ultrasound (POCUS). POCUS is utilized at the bedside to quickly and accurately diagnose what is causing a symptom in order to offer the best care management possible. For many children and families in palliative care, going to the hospital for an X-ray or Ultrasound is contrary to their hopes to have as much time as they can together in the comfort of their own home or in a hospice. Like the stethoscope, portable ultrasound is a tool that increases the doctor’s diagnostic confidence and could make big differences to treatment decisions, and therefore to symptom control. The machine was donated to the Rotary Flames House, a palliative care facility for children that offers end of life care in a home-like setting, and the facility that Matteo spent his final few weeks.  It was because of the hard work and generosity of our donors that the Matteo Shafer Legacy Fund could help these children and families on this difficult journey.

Terry Fox Matching Campaign

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Terry is a hero. By definition a hero is “a person who is admired or idealized for COURAGE, OUTSTANDING ACHIEVMENTS AND NOBLE QUALITIES.” He ran in the cold and the rain. Through heat and winds. He ran through pain and fatigue. He ran the “Marathon of Hope”, as he called it a “quixotic adventure across Canada that defied logic and common sense.”


 “He was strong, wilful and stubborn. He wanted to show that a man is not less because he has lost a leg, indeed, he may be more. Certainly, he showed there were no limits to what an amputee could do. He changed people’s attitude towards the disabled, and he showed that while cancer had claimed his leg, his spirit was unbreakable.” (terryfox.org)


When Terry had to end his run and was taken to the hospital to find out that his cancer had spread, his father, Rolly, was overheard saying, “I think it’s unfair. Very unfair.”
“I don’t feel this is unfair,” Terry told him. “That’s the thing about cancer. I’m not the only one. It happens all the time, to other people. I’m not special. This just intensifies what I did. It gives it more meaning. It’ll inspire more people. I could have sat on my rear end, I could have forgotten what I’d seen in the hospital, but I didn’t.”
The spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$650 million has been raised in his name. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Fox)


For the last three years, we have had the opportunity to remember both Terry and Matteo. 

 Our first fundraiser in memory of Matteo was in September 2016 with the Terry Fox Run. We challenged the students at St. Alphonsus (Matteo and Domenic's school) and the students at St. Rose of Lima (my school) to bring in as many "Toonies for Terry" as possible, and the Matteo Shafer Legacy Fund would match their contributions. The generosity was outstanding and between both schools, over $7000.00 was raised. The money didn't go into a "general pot" though. This contribution was specifically directed to pediatric cancer research. The fundraiser was so successful that it caught the eye of Fred Fox (Terry Fox's older brother) and Fred made a special trip to St. Alphonsus and St. Rose to talk about Terry and to express his gratitude for the students' hard work. 

In September of 2017 St. Alphonsus hosted their annual Terry Fox run. After listening to a video on Terry’s life, two of Matteo’s best friends, Amari and Giuliano, spoke words of love and remembrance. Then, led by one of the most outstanding music teachers, the grade 3’s and grade 5’s sang “This is my fight song” for the whole school to hear. Four of Matteo’s friends showed their entrepreneurial spirit and love for Matteo and those that have been effected by cancer, by painting and selling rocks with all proceeds going to cancer research. The whole school (a population of 368 students) raised approx. $2,200.00 for pediatric cancer research through the Terry Fox Foundation. AMAZING. The Matteo Shafer Legacy Fund matched all the money raised again.  

This past September, Matteo’s little school did a great job again bringing in that toonie for Terry! Raising over $800.00, the Legacy Fund again matched their generosity. $1,600 was sent to the Terry Fox Research Institute, with monies going specifically to the PROFYLE project. PROFYLE is a project for children and young adults who have been told they are out of treatment options, giving them another chance.  Research centres and top scientists and clinicians across Canada are – for the first time – working together to molecularly profile the tumours of young cancer patients. PROFYLE seeks to take advantage of the genomic revolution to look at the molecular composition of these cancers. The information gathered will be used to identify and create therapies that are designed to target a specific cancer tumour profile so patients can enjoy a better quality of life and live longer. (www.trfi.ca)

Thank you to all of those who ran for Terry and Matteo, and who keep running for them.

Thank you to all of those who keep speaking his name and remembering.


2018 Starry Night Gallery

2017 Starry Night Gallery