Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto
Former IKDS President
In 1992 when I relocated to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, I “inherited” the care of Kawasaki Disease patients from a retiring colleague, Dr. Vera Rose, and not because I had any particular expertise. I did my best to embrace this task, but really became inspired when I went to my first IKDS in 1995 in Fukuoka and met
Dr. Kawasaki. He was a humble and compassionate ambassador, and a role model for curious clinical investigation. From then on, I have aimed to aspire to his legacy of contribution. Every 3 or 4 years we would meet again at the next IKDS, where he always sat in the front astutely absorbing the presentations, and was ever ready to be swarmed by amateur paparazzi. In 2015, I had the great honor to Co-Chair the 11th IKDS with Dr. Anne Rowley in Hawaii, where we had the privilege of celebrating his birthday together. I was also able to incorporate a parent/patient symposium into the meeting, and brought some families from Toronto. One of my patients, Michael, whom I had known since he was a young child, was finally able to meet his hero, Dr. Kawasaki, and wrote about his experience for the American Heart Association. He was also my research student and contributed to our studies, and despite having had bypass surgery, would run 5K races with me and my team. His success is a direct result of the discoveries beginning with
Dr. Kawasaki and the ongoing efforts he championed and inspired. The journey of discovery continues, and the legacy of this humble giant will continue to be an inspiration for many years to come.