Sunshine Foundation

London Pediatrician Recognized for Sunshine Award

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dr Michelle McNeill, a developmental pediatrician with London Health Sciences Centre and Medical Director for Children’s Aid Society London Middlesex, was honoured in May 2018, as the recipient of Sunshine’s 2017 Wayne C. Dunn Spirit of Service Award in recognition of her contributions to help fulfill Sunshine dreams for children across Canada living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.

"Dr. McNeill is an outstanding volunteer,” says Nancy Sutherland, CEO, The Sunshine Foundation of Canada. “Her continual passion and dedication to serving our children are vital to a volunteer-driven organization like Sunshine in achieving our mission.”

Despite her demanding schedule as a medical professional and mother of four, Dr. McNeill has dedicated 16 years of her time, knowledge and skills to support the Sunshine team and help make Sunshine dreams come true in a variety of roles:

  • As a developmental pediatrician, Dr. McNeill has played an integral role on Sunshine’s Medical Advisory Team since 2002, devoting countless hours reviewing hundreds of Sunshine Dream applications and ensuring standard and fair approval processes for all dreamers across Canada. 
  • She has volunteered on four Sunshine DreamLifts, including the April 24, 2018 DreamLift out of London ON, and she has served in various roles.
  • Dr. McNeill serves Sunshine as a referral partner within the London healthcare community at Children’s Hospital of London and CAS London Middlesex and as an integral home office resource providing training to Sunshine staff regarding various medical conditions and how they affect the lives of Sunshine dreamers.

The children with severe physical disabilities whom she treats in her specialty clinics at London Health Sciences Centre’s Children’s Hospital and CAS London Middlesex are often kids she will assist throughout their entire childhood. In Dr. McNeill’s words, she “follows their journey,” first meeting them when they are tiny and helping them through their teens into their twenties. She is a vital part of their lives, a constant and trusted ally through their many challenges and triumphs.

Dr. McNeill has seen the true value of a Sunshine Dream, and, in her eyes, the experience is transformative: “It’s about having fun, getting a break from all the challenges the illness has presented, changing relationships, challenging assumptions, seeing people in a different light, and making just one day magical.”

Sunshine extends sincere gratitude to Dr. Michelle McNeill as a driving force for Sunshine and the children they serve. Sunshine is proud to honour Dr. McNeill as the newest recipient of the Sunshine Spirit of Service Award.

The Wayne C. Dunn Spirit of Service Award

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