Sarah Pocaluyko Memorial Foundation

Welcome to the Sarah Pocaluyko Memorial Foundation. The Foundation has been established in loving memory of our daughter Sarah, who passed away from an anaphylactic reaction on June 19th 2018.

Monies raised will be used to promote food allergy awareness through Food Allergy Canada, fund research into anaphylaxis and asthma through the Canadian Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Foundation and support the Trillium Gift of Life, as well as other charities in Sarah’s honour.  Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and will help to ensure that grants to these charitable organizations can be made for many years to come. 

Sarah's Story

On Saturday June 16, 2018, we arrived home at 4:50 in the afternoon to police in our driveway. It was the day that changed our lives forever.

Our daughter Sarah, who was 26 years old at the time, had been rushed to Orillia hospital with no vital signs. She was a bridesmaid at a good friend's wedding when she ate a small beef tenderloin appetizer. She asked if it had dairy, nuts or shellfish in it, to all of which Sarah was anaphylactic. The server told her she could eat it. She knew right away that there was some type of allergen in it. She did everything right. Spit it out, made herself throw up, took benadryl and gave herself an epipen. The ambulance arrived 10 minutes later and the paramedics immediately started CPR. She was whisked away to the hospital where, after approximately 45 mintues, they managed to get her vital signs again.

As we drove to the hospital, we did not have all this information, only that she was in the hospital and in critical condition. We waited for three days for her to wake up. We were prepared to wait the rest of our lives. But she lost all brain function. She would never wake up. Our worst nightmare had become reality.

Our family is heartbroken that Sarah was taken from us at such a young age. She was a very generous and caring person. So, it didn't surprise us when we found out she had signed her organ donor card. We are very proud and take some modest consolation in the fact that she was able to give a little of herself to ensure the quality of life for someone else.

Through the Trillium Gift of Life Program and by simply signing your donor card, we can all continue to make a difference even after death. As a result of Sarah's heart donation, a Grandpa is able play with his grandchildren; with her liver, a Dad is able to see his children grow up; with her pancreas, a women is able to live free from diabetes; with her kidneys, two young girls are able to live a life free of dialysis; and she improved the lives of many others with her eyes, tissue and bones.

Our family will work hard to turn our grief into something positive and do whatever we can to ensure that something like this never happens again. It is so important for us the get the message out that anaphylaxis needs to be taken seriously. There are more than 2.6 million Canadians, of which 500,000 are children, living with food allergies. Food Allergy Canada is making a huge difference. They recently launched the National Food Allergy Action Plan, together with the Canadian Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Foundation (CAAIF) which outlines a comprehensive approach to dealing with anaphylaxis. 

While it pains us all to know that Sarah was taken from us far, far too soon and has been denied the opportunity to experience the many joys in life, we take comfort in knowing that Sarah lived every day to its fullest and crammed a lifetime's worth of love, friendship, fun and adventure into her time on this planet.

Remembering her is easy, we do it every day. Missing her is the heartache that never goes away. 

Sarah Pocaluyko Memorial Foundation