Construction crews stop work to send birthday wishes to young cancer patient

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

A brief, heart-warming jester by dozens of construction workers at Sick Kids Hospital on a Thursday in June has turned into a campaign to raise awareness for rare brain cancers over the weekend.

Construction on the Sick Kids Hospital Patient Support Centre (PSC) halted briefly while dozens of workers waved and sent birthday greetings to a child battling brain cancer.

Mateo watched from his bed in the hospital across from the construction site.

“Heartwarming scene today,” Dr. Annie Huang tweeted on Thursday. “Thank you, gentlemen, for your compassion and to our palliative care team for making magic.

“Thank you all, particularly to the women and men of @PCLConstruction, who gave Matteo and family the biggest smiles while literally helping to build the new Sick Kids Hospital.

PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto) is managing construction of the PSC, the first phase of the development plan.

Dr. Huang’s original tweet was retweeted more than 3,500 times and received over 37,000 likes by Sunday evening.

Thousands of people from around the world, including actor Ryan Reynolds commented as well, sending messages of hope and inspiration to the young cancer patient and thanks to the construction workers who took time to send their wishes to Mateo.

“Truly, deeply humbled to see 30K+ tweets in less than 24 hours with tremendous outpouring of goodwill and humanity for Matteo,” Dr. Huang wrote. “Matteo, you are the young man of the hour. The world is behind you and all other children battling #rarebraincancers@SickKidsNews and around the world.”

The PSC is expected to be completed in Sept. 2022.

“Building for an organization like SickKids that takes care of the most prized members of our lives, our children, when they are at their most vulnerable creates a profound impact in knowing that we can contribute to their mission in some small way.” Curtis Paddock, senior construction manager, PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto), wrote on the project website.

SickKids’ Patient Support Centre (PSC) is a critical first of three phases in the SickKids master redevelopment plan.

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