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Health Care ‘Champion Child’ from Northern Manitoba Named

March 15, 2024 7:01 AM | News

Janessa Dumas Colomb

Janessa Dumas Colomb is the 2024 Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba Champion Child. (CHFM / HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — The 2024 Champion Child has already made history after just being named.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba introduced Janessa Dumas Colomb on Thursday, who is the first Champion Child chosen from a remote northern First Nations community.

The 15-year-old, from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Pukatawagan, experienced recurrent urinary tract infections at just five years old.

By age seven, Janessa had reached Stage 4 kidney disease with 25 percent kidney function that continued to decline. Recognizing the need to be closer to the specialized pediatric care at Manitoba’s only children’s hospital, Janessa’s parents moved the family 800 km from their community in Pukatawagan to Winnipeg.

“We are so pleased to have Janessa represent the many children who need our Children’s Hospital. She has shown great resilience in her health journey and willingness to help others,” said Stefano Grande, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

“Children from all our communities represent gifts of the present and future. Janessa is an example of how when we provide the best healthcare to kids, and help them thrive, we can give better futures.”

After support from pediatric nephrology specialists at Children’s Hospital and a successful kidney transplant in 2020, Janessa is doing well and back home with family and friends. The Foundation says she is happy to be doing everything she loves, like fishing, snowmobiling and fancy shawl dancing.

Being a Champion Child means that Janessa joins a group of child and youth ambassadors from across North America who support their local children’s hospitals.

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