Author Archives: Immunodeficiency Canada

Making a Difference! An interview with Wendy Shama

By Dana Ewachow

Wendy Shama

Wendy Shama

I met with Wendy Shama at the Zavida Coffee right across from Immunodeficiency Canada’s downtown office. That day, she had to push back the time of the meeting by an hour. During the hour we spoke together, she received two calls. She is unmistakably busy, juggling her social work at SickKids and her involvement with Immunodeficiency Canada. She manages a multitude of demands, and she does them successfully. This year, she received the Dr. Beverly Antle Legacy of Hope Award. The award is presented to an outstanding social worker who through the integration of clinical practice, teaching, and research has made a difference in the lives of children and their families. The award is given out every two years.

Shama has worked at SickKids for 22 years, specializing in the Leukemia/Lymphoma population in addition to the Immunology families whose children are undergoing a bone marrow transplant. There are fewer families with children who have Immunodeficienciesis than children with Leukemia/Lymphoma, but Shama still devotes an incredible amount of time and focus on them.… Read more

The #PIechallenge What is it?

The #PIechallenge is an awareness/fundraising campaign for PI (primary immunodeficiency) ending on March 14th, 2017.

We’re asking you to bake a homemade pie, post a photo of your pie on social media with our copy/paste PIechallengemessage, and tag 3 friends to take on the challenge. We encourage you to get as creative with your pies as possible. The best 3 pies submitted to Immunodeficiency Canada will be awarded with prizes! *To see our prizes and sponsors, click Read More*

Lastly, we are asking for a donation of $5.  100% of your donation will go to the cause.

#FF0000 Raised $2,131 towards the $5,000 target.

Copy/paste this message on social media:

I am doing the #PIechallenge for Immunodeficiency Canada.

 What is the challenge?

  1. 1. Bake the best – the prettiest, the weirdest, the tastiest – pie you can.
  2. 2. Share the photo of your masterpiece on social media with this message.
  3. 3. Nominate 3 friends to see if they can match your baking skills.
  4. 4. Donate $5.00 to the cause at 
  5. 5. Eat pie!

 If you want to share your masterpiece with Immunodeficiency Canada, you can tag or message them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Or, you could email the photo and your name to to be featured on our social media and entered into our contest for the 3 best pies.

pie-bannerRead more

World PI Week: April 22-29

Raising Awareness, Diagnosis and Treatment of PI Together. 

Be a part of a strong PI community!

World PI Week is a global campaign which aims to raise awareness and improve diagnosis and treatment of Primary Immunodeficiency (PI).

Explore the website to learn how you can make a difference and ultimately improve the quality of life of people with PI world-wide.

You can  learn PI factssign the awareness petition, browse events or download

Immunodeficiency Canada is proud to be a part of this international effort.

Click on the poster and learn how you can Show Your Canadian Spirit!Read more

Make a donation to help others.

Donate to help a child in hospital near you

Join our PIechallenge

Make a donation towards patient support, education and researchRead more

Help a family cope with a child in hospital

baden-2A diagnosis of Primary Immunodeficiency can throw a family into financial crisis. A parent may have to stop work, there is travel back and forth to many medical appointments and the child and guardian may have to go to a major city for treatment. Additional costs for some medications, medical equipment, travel, accommodation, parking, meals, all creates a strain when the families energy should be on their child getting better. You can make a donation to help a family in crisis near you.

Help a family with a child in hospital                … Read more

Ways To Cope – Matt’s Interview


Matt surrounded by family & friends

I walk into the ward at Sick Kids Hospital, and with the help of two patient nurses, I’m directed to the room I’ve been looking for. The room is spacious and lined with lounge chairs. Each chair is occupied by a child with their own IV, reading books and watching shows on portable devices, prepared for the long wait. Matt is in his own chair, with an IV tube in his arm. His mother, Sally, is sitting beside him. She waves me over.

Matt only started doing IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) therapy last May. He gets IVIG therapy every four weeks, thirteen times a year, travelling from his home in Barrie to the hospital in downtown Toronto. “We leave at quarter to seven in the morning,” Sally tells me, “and get back at quarter to seven at night.” … Read more

Immunodeficiency Canada Satellite Symposium – 4th sCID Symposium

September 29th, 2016 – The Westin Hotel, Montreal, QC

 Immunodeficiency Canada Satellite Symposium – 4th sCID Symposium will be held at the Annual Scientific Meeting, CSACI in Montreal. Immunodeficiency Canada would like to announce that there is a Call for Abstracts for the Lightening talks at the Symposium.

 **Attention Program Directors and Fellows:

Call for Abstracts – Lightening Talks: Interested Fellows, please advise us now by sending an email! 

Call for abstracts Read more

2016 Bidding for Health

Bidding for Health Logo_Final

Another Success! Bidding for Health ran June 3 – 20, 2016

Thank you to our generous participants, donors and bidders who supported our annual online bidding experience to support kids and adults with Primary Immunodeficiency.  Items were donated from Montreal to Vancouver.    Bidding for Health closed till next year. See our 2016 generous donors here…… Read more

Proud Sponsor of LymphoSign Journal

LymphoSign JournalLymphoSign Journal publishes novel clinical, translational, or basic research articles aimed at clinicians and scientists in the fields of immunology, gastroenterology, neurology, dermatology, infectious diseases, rheumatology, and hematology. The focus is on defining the molecular basis and treatment of various immune disorders like innate or adaptive immunodeficiency, bone marrow failure, autoimmunity and auto inflammatory disorders and lymphoid malignancies. The Journal also publishes papers that can directly and immediately improve diagnosis and management of patients, including practice guidelines and algorithms.

Check out the journal’s website at To submit a paper, please click here.… Read more

Partners in Awareness

Our first Partner in Awareness, Terrence Ho

Business Analyst-Business Planning-Customer Services,

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft @Bombardier

“Within a week of Bombardier’s Jeans Day Team distributing the 10 Warning Signs, we received a phone call from a patient needing help,” says Richard Thompson, CEO of Immunodeficiency Canada. … Read more


Giving-Tuesday-Logo-2015_date2redBe part of something big. A new day on the calendar called GivingTuesday! After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday is the movement that celebrates giving back. Join millions of Canadians and give back to the charities that you care about – donate, on December 1, 2015.

GivingTuesday inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets. It proves that the holidays can be about both giving and giving back. It celebrates how Canadians can do more with their wallets then just shop and that we can give as good as we get.

Help Immunodeficiency Canada this GivingTuesday raise $4,500 that will go towards patient support this GivingTuesday. This amount provides 3 grants to 3 families at five different treatment centres which will help them with expenses for 1 month.

100% of your donation will be used for patient support, in thanks to our corporate sponsorship which covers administration costs.

Donate now

Giving Tuesday starts in ….

motionmailapp.comRead more

Ciao Bella Dance Studio presented Casino Night Feb 6th, 2016



Immunodeficiency Canada was honoured to have the support of Ciao Bella Dance Studio through a Casino Night that took place in  Woodbridge, Ontario, February 6th, 2016. Special thanks goes out to the organizing committee.… Read more

The problem with “Everything, Everything”

How Nicola Yoon’s YA Novel Misrepresents Primary Immunodeficiency

An editorial by: Dana Ewachow

In early September, I heard about a new Young Adult novel that had a main character with SCID (Severe Combined Immune Defiency). As an employee of Immunodeficiency Canada ( , I was excited. Primary immunodeficiencies are rarely presented in the media, beyond the occasional news piece, so finding a book that was predicted to grace the best-seller list felt like a step in the right direction. Nicola Yoon’s “Everything, Everything” was advertised to be the next big hit, with expectations of a movie deal ( It was compared to John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, a love story mixed with the obstacles of disease, and was expected to have the same success.… Read more

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon – Register for 2015

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K

The 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 and registration is now open! If you would like to get involved and run or walk with us, please contact Shirley Lau Community Relations for a free registration code.

Sign up here

100% of funds raised and donations will go to a family in need through our Emergency Financial Assistance provided through our Alastair Fund.

Donate to support the team!

Our team has participated in several  marathons. John Paul, an individual with a Primary Immunodeficiency was featured in an article in the Toronto Sun.

Read Toronto Sun articleRead more

Baden’s Klein Cup

Baden's Cup Banner

Held August 26, 2015, Guelph, Ontario

The game started at 4:00 with the women’s team followed by Baden’s official kick off at 6:00 pm and the men’s team at 6:15 pm. Guelph Gryphons VS Ryerson Rams

Raffles and a barbeque fundraiser were hosted by the Klein Family. Exhibition game organized by Keith Mason, Head Coach, men’s team University of Guelph,

To see raffle sponsors and read more about Baden… Read more

Seasons Greetings

2015 Holiday Artwork for social media

As we come to the close of another year at Immunodeficiency Canada, we are thankful for the love and support shared with us to help us provide patient support, education and research for a cure for Primary Immunodeficiency.

We sincerely thank the individuals, groups, companies, volunteers, and you that have allowed us to saves lives through newborn screening in Ontario (10 infants diagnosed and treated) improve treatments for all by getting individuals diagnosed and connected to an Immunologists ,and building a strong PI community across Canada

 Wishing you a most happy, safe, holiday season!

 Richard Thompson, Chief Executive Officer

 … Read more