Coraline’s birthday wish comes to life


Not every birthday party involves curling rocks, cake, and two truckloads of toys.

But for Coraline Urquhart, who turned six on Wednesday, September 28, making other kids happy, plus her mom and dad, is what made her big day extra-special.

“Just before the party, I told my parents that I’m doing this for the hospital, because they don’t have a lot of toys for the children, and some kids are in there for a long time,” said Coraline. “This could make them happy. And my mom and dad like curling.”

Her plan was to have a big party, and invite guests to bring presents for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in Winnipeg.

She knows it well, because since she was born, she has been in and out of hospital, for treatment and surgery for kidney problems.

Her mom and dad, who also have two other daughters, nine-year-old Emerson, and three-year-old Meggie, were all for it.

“Coraline wanted a curling-themed birthday party, so we decided to hold it at the Legion, because there was enough space there to run the Rocks and Rings game,” said her mom, Kyla Urquhart. “And because she wanted people to bring gifts to donate to the children’s hospital in Winnipeg, we thought it would be smart to open it up to the public. So I put it on Facebook, and invited people to come, to enjoy a piece of cake, and to bring a new, unwrapped gift for the kids there.”

And on Sunday, September 25, a swell of birthday well-wishers arrived – loaded with gifts.

“We were hoping that 50 people might come,” said Urquhart. “Over 100 people turned up. It was an awesome party, and it was very emotional. After I had put it on Facebook, we had people dropping off gifts before the party, and after the party, and they are still dropping them off, at the school.”

Coraline’s dad, Adam, said the event was more intense than he could have imagined.

“It was very busy,” he said. “It was overwhelming, all the support from the community. The gifts people brought could have filled our truck twice.”

In a couple of weeks, little Coraline is scheduled for what the family hopes will be her final trip to the children’s hospital for surgery.

“When she was just eight days old, she had a bad kidney infection,” said her mom. “She has kidney problems, which started with kidney reflux. She has had day surgery eight times, and on October 13 she is having her second major surgery. She was born with three kidneys, and one of them will be removed. She will have three days of recovery afterwards in the hospital. We are hoping this will be the last surgery. It should take care of the pain she is having.”

Coraline got quite a lot of presents of her own, of course, including a corralled farm layout, with a variety of animals inside, that sits in the living room on its own table. She also received a stethoscope and an otoscope from friends and family.

“She’s very comfortable with hospital things,” said her mom. “And we were super-grateful for people who gave up their Sunday afternoon to come and party with us. They spent money for people and kids they don’t even know.”

Coraline was pretty pleased too.

“I say thank you for all the gifts,” she said. “I was surprised and happy. It made me laugh.”


BIG DAY AHEAD FOR CORALINE – The Urquhart family recently held a big birthday party for their middle daughter, six-year-old Coraline (right), and received hundreds of gifts to be donated to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. Adam and Kyla Urquhart (left) will be taking Coraline to the Children’s Hospital next month for what they hope will be her last major surgery for kidney issues. Coraline is holding her ‘surgery’ doll, Jenna, who always accompanies her on these journeys.


cora-with-childrens-hospital-giftsBEAMING BIRTHDAY GIRL – Coraline beams with pride surrounded by two truckloads of toys destined for kids at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg.



Coraline (bottom left) and her friends play with the Rocks and Rings curling game in the Killarney Legion Hall during her Sunday afternoon birthday party.