Sauyer Bell sits on mom Shae’s lap while having pancakes with her and his two-year-old brother Graeson at IHOP in Chilliwack on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Sauyer is a BC Children’s Hospital patient and was the face on the poster (seen on the wall behind them) for IHOP’s National Pancake Day fundraiser for the hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chilliwack baby is the pancake poster child for provincewide fundraiser

Face of one-year-old patient Sauyer Bell is who IHOP chose for its BC Children’s Hospital fundraiser

A Chilliwack baby was chosen as the poster child for a provincewide fundraiser celebrating national pancake day, which takes place today.

In the poster, one-year-old BC Children’s Hospital patient, Sauyer Bell, is seen shaking a rattle with a big smile on his face as his two-year-old brother Graeson looks on in the background.

Sauyer is now 16 months old and the poster of the Chilliwack brothers was used throughout B.C. to promote the annual IHOP fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals across Canada. National Pancake Day at IHOP is Tuesday, Feb. 25 and in B.C., all funds raised will go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

READ MORE: IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

The image of Sauyer was taken midway through his three-month stay at BC Children’s Hospital during which he underwent 11 surgeries on his stomach and gastrointestinal system to correct a tight pylorus. His condition made it difficult for food to pass from his stomach to his intestine.

At about a month old, he was diagnosed with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease and failure to thrive. He’s had esophageal and stomach ulcers, feeding tubes and respiratory infections.

Now Sauyer is doing great, mom Shae Bell said. “He’s doing really good.”

The photo was taken back in October at the hospital. Staff asked Bell if Sauyer could be photographed for future BC Children’s Hospital promotions. Fast forward a few months, and it was that image that IHOP picked for its B.C.-wide poster.

Bell said she’s had a great experience with BC Children’s Hospital saying that it “primarily focuses on families.” She’s a single mom and said she had a lot of support from the staff, especially during their three-month stay when the young family of three was there.

“They stuck through, even though Sauyer’s a very complex case and I couldn’t be more happy to support them,” Bell said.

Today, the Bell family decided to give back to the hospital that has given them so much by making a donation during IHOP’s National Pancake Day fundraiser in Chilliwack.

RELATED: Chilliwack mom gives back to Royal Columbian Hospital NICU with Christmas stocking drive


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