Since she was 12 years old Tylyn Hollingshead has been giving back to the institution that gave her a new life when she was a toddler. When Hollingshed was three she received a liver transplant as a result of a rare genetic condition called Crigler-Nahhar syndrome. Over the years the grade 12 student has been giving back to the Stollery Children’s Hospital through school fundraisers and other events.
To celebrate the 14th anniversary of her surgery, the grade 12 Sexsmith Secondary School student planned an event that included her love of high school rodeo events, including pole bending and barrel racing, a silent auction, and dinner. Through the sale of dinner tickets, the silent auction, contestant entry fees, and additional donations Hollingshead raised $24,270.
“It feels good to help children who just want to go outside. I am forever thankful to the Stollery for what they’ve done for me and I think those kids should have the same chances I was given,” Hollingshed says.
One of Hollingshed’s teachers at Sexsmith Secondary School, Christine Hartman, says it has been a pleasure to see Hollingshed’s fundraising efforts grow from a count-the-jelly-beans-jar to a large-scale event.
“Her dedication to give back to the Stollery specifically, even as a young junior high student, has always been heartening. It was quite a delight, and even a cultural experience to go to Teepee Creek and see the events that surrounded the Jackpot,” Hartman says. “Tylynn did an exceptional job and it was inspiring to see it all put together by someone so young. She truly is incredible.”
Hollingshed adds that she is grateful to the community for their support, including Lyons Production Centre in Teepee Creek, which donated the venue for the event.