Toronto, ON – On Thursday, April 26th, 2018, De La Salle had the pleasure of hosting the annual Meagan’s Hug Ceremony. “Together we hug,” Del students and staff shouted as they ran towards the centre of the field while holding hands.

Meagan Bebenek passed away due to a cancerous brain tumour at the young age of five in 2001. This charity, founded by Meagan’s mother Denise Bebenek, is one that De La Salle has supported since its inception. De La Salle has a special connection with Meagan’s Walk especially because Meagan’s siblings, Sarah Grace and Matthew, attended De La Salle. Today, Meagan’s legacy is honored through Meagan’s Walk, which raises funds for paediatric brain tumour research in hopes of improving diagnosis and treatment.

This year, during the in-school Hug, the students had the pleasure to hear from Ms. Bebenek as she emphasized the significance of De La Salle in the Meagan’s Walk mission. De La Salle’s  unwavering support over the past several years has led to over $75,000 in contributions. Furthermore, the school welcomed Jack Conway and his family. Jack is a young Hero who discussed his cancer journey with the students and how his trials have made him stronger. Most importantly, he reminded them of the courage that Meagan’s Walk and its loving community instilled in him. Both Ms. Bebenek and Jack have attended in-school Hugs in the past and De La Salle thanks them for once more making the Hug special.

In preparation for the in-school Hug, the Meagan’s Walk committee hosted several fundraising initiatives throughout the week including t-shirt sales, a Jersey Day and Churros sales. These initiatives allowed the students to contribute just over $1000 to go towards the Team Del goal, which you can read more about it in the school article.

The in-school Hug mirrors the annual Meagan’s Walk & Hug events. This year, the De La Salle Community proudly participated in the 17th Annual Meagan’s Walk & Hug on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Along with thousands of other supporters, Del students, staff, and families walked 5 km from Fort York to Sick Kids Hospital. At Sick Kids, they held hands and form a “circle of hope” around the Hospital and look up at the brave young patients watching from the windows.

Visit the De La Salle Collge “Oaklands” website for more images.