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Free lodging near Montreal Children's Hospital for parents of sick kids unveiled in memory of young cancer patient


The Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation has opened a residence for out-of-town parents whose children are receiving long-term treatment.

The Kat Demes Pavillion was officially unveiled on Tuesday, named for a patient at the Children's Hospital who died of a brain tumour called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma at just five years old.

Catherine "Kat" Demes' family has since raised $1 million for cancer research and has pledged to raise a further $2 million for the new six-unit residence.

"It's amazing. It's a very emotional day for me and my family. We're proud -- my daughter's name is up there on the sign. But at the same time, we're happy to be able to help families in the future," Kat's mother, Dina Bourdakos, told reporters.

Located on Boulevard De Maisonneuve in N.D.G., families can stay at the pavilion for days, weeks or even months, depending on their child's treatment requirements.

"I had to come to the hospital with Kat for 31 straight days for radiation. I live in Laval, it wasn't a problem. Yes, I stopped working, but at least we didn't have to think about hotels and food and board and all that stuff," said Bourdakos. "Helping the families be near their children, it takes a whole load off their shoulders and [it's] one less thing for them to worry about."

It's a first-of-its-kind project in Quebec, according to the foundation, and hundreds of families are expected to stay there every year.

The rooms will be available as early as this spring.

More information about the fundraiser can be found here. Top Stories

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