The Bartuccis enjoy some food and entertainment courtesy of banquet hall owner Faisal Chatha who brought together patients of Osler's paediatric clinic and their families. From left: Katelyn, 3, with mom, Jackie, and dad, Mario. Front row: seven-year-old Alyssa and Carmine, 10.
Connecting beyond the clinic
Faisal Chatha has been wanting to do something special to bring families like his together for years.
His 10-year-old son, Haroon, is one of about 330 kids to receive ongoing diabetes care at Osler’s paediatric diabetes clinic.
On Jan. 22, Chatha opened the doors to his business – Swagat Banquet Hall in Mississauga – hosting a buffet for families from the clinic.
“I wanted to do something to help families to get to know each other. There is comfort in being with people who are going through similar experiences,” he said.
The clinic’s patients, their parents and siblings – about 100 in total – enjoyed an evening of food and entertainment, all sponsored by Chatha.
Val Carver, a Diabetes Nurse Educator, was one of several members of Osler’s paediatric diabetes team to attend the event.
“It is a great opportunity for families to meet outside of the clinic and to normalize diabetes … for children to see other children checking their insulin,” she said. “And it’s wonderful to just see kids being kids.”
Seven-year-old Alyssa Bartucci was one of those kids, happily playing tag with her siblings and some of the other kids before dinner was served. Alyssa was diagnosed with Type One diabetes when she was 2 ½ and then Celiac Disease at age 5.
Her mom Jackie says Alyssa receives “amazing” care at the paediatric diabetes clinic and that staff are always available to help “even if it’s 9 p.m. on a Friday night.”
Val, along with dietician Alison Mooney and social worker Catherine Moore, accepted a letter of acknowledgement from the Prime Minister’s office, delivered by Mississauga Erin Mills MP Iqra Khalid at the event, on behalf of the great work of the entire paediatric diabetes clinic team.