Dakota’s Happy Heart Shopping Spree

Meet our Newest Member of the Braedon Foundation Family: Dakota Albert-Ogden

Seriously though, that smile!

This past December we were excited to welcome six year old Dakota Albert-Ogden and his beautiful family to The Braedon Foundation family. My husband, Board Member James Agnew and I met Dakota, his mom Kristen, his dad Aaron and his two adorable twin sisters  at the Champlain mall in Dieppe. Later in the day we even got to meet his two other brothers after they got done school for the day. 

Facing Unimaginable Health Battles

 Dakota was diagnosed at age 3 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It was a huge shock to his entire family. Just like Braedon Dakota always has a smile on his face despite his daily struggles. He is the silliest and happiest little boy most people have ever met. DMD is the most rapid form of MD. Most boys with DMD are non ambulatory by age 12 and average lifespan is 25. 

Just this past November Dakota had casts on both legs to prepare him for braces in hopes to strengthen his legs. He wore those casts for 24 hours with a smile on his face, walking around as if things were normal and without any complaints. The family is very hopeful that a clinical trial they attended in Calgary will slow down his muscle breakdown. For about a year, he had to travel to Calgary monthly for 3-5 days at a time.

Spoiling Dakota for the Day: Our Youngest Little Shopper

We had the divine privilege of spoiling Dakota with a Happy Heart Shopping Spree. It was amazing to see him have a day that was dedicated to him and bringing more happiness into his life. It was also equally amazing to see his parents and siblings get to see him focus on just being a kid and not worrying about his health. 

After a fun day of shopping we got to take Dakota and his whole family, all seven of them out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, Boston Pizza! We had planned to shop until his brothers got done school, break for dinner and finish up shopping after if we needed to. Dakota had different plans though and in addition to being our youngest shopping spree applicant to date he also became our fastest shopper! Ninety minutes to fill up family’s minivan. All over previous shoppers took five hours plus! He was very generous with his siblings though and got gifts for all of them. We waited for them to get done school and enjoyed a meal with the entire family. 

It was an absolute pleasure spending the day with the Albert-Ogden family. Dakota was a delight and we truly enjoyed every minute of making him smile. I mean that smile. Seriously though. ❤

Dakota is one strong fierce little man and “…his strength is influential to sooo many people.” ~Kristen Albert

Wondering how you can help?

Would you like to help bring happiness to the hearts of children facing severe, life-threatening or high-risk illnesses? We’re always accepting donations by e-transfer to tiffany@thebraedonfoundation.com password happyhearts. You can also donate by cheque. Contact Tiffany Agnew to arrange. Your donations are what allow us to do what we do and we are so incredibly grateful to everyone who helps us.

Interested in Volunteering?

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We’re currently looking for volunteers to help with the following areas:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Website Design & Updates
  • Administrative
  • Graphic Design

Reach out to Braedon Foundation Founder Tiffany Agnew tiffany@thebraedonfoundation.com for inquires or more information.

Learn more about how to apply here

XO Tiffany Agnew Founder, Board President & Braedon’s Mom

Tiffany Agnew is a motivational speaker, writer and event creator. Find out how to have her speak at your next event.

Happy Heart Shopping Spree: Emma Farnsworth

Have you ever met someone & just wanted to be best friends with them right away?

That’s how my team Kira Howard, Loretta Landry and I felt when we met Emma and her mom Stacy. After a wonderful day of shopping, stopping for snacks and taking the family out for dinner Stacy latter texted to say:

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“I just want to say a huge thank you to The Braedon Foundation for spoiling Emma today. We had lots of fun with some great gals! It felt as if we spent the day with our bff’s. Thank you for the laughs and for making her feel so special…thank you for everything.”

~Stacey Farnsworth

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Doesn’t that smile just melt your heart!

Well the truth is, we felt incredibly lucky to be able to give Emma and her mom, Stacy this incredible day. Our hearts were warmed as we watched Emma light up with excitement throughout the day. After hearing about Emma’s story and health battle we just wanted to give her something fun and positive to focus on and give her mom a chance to see her little girl just being a kid; even if only for the day.

Emma is a 9th grader at Simonds high school; just 14 years old. She loves makeup, music, and she’s an amazing dancer we’ve been told. Her troop with Danceability goes by the very cool name, team Khaos! She has a lot of love for both her younger and older brother too. She even made sure to get out and get them each a gift during her shopping spree.

After seeing an episode of Grey’s Anatomy Emma showed her mom a lump on her neck that she was worried about. The character on the TV show had cancer and Emma was worried the lump she had looked similar. That was at the end of January this year. Since than their lives have been turned upside down as Emma was soon diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Emma and her family have been traveling back and forth to and to the IWK in Halifax for appointments and have many more on top of that here at the regional hospital. Emma will finish chemo later this month and her mom is looking forward to seeing her “ring the bell.” This is a tradition that symbolizes the end of chemo treatment. Emma’s battle will still continue though as the end of radiation is the start radiation. She’ll also need to be monitored closely both here and in Halifax at the IWK.

Even after all she’s been through and continues to go through, Emma’s beautiful soul still shines through. She remains optimistic and cheerful and was even worried that if we choose her someone else deserving might miss out. I quickly assured her that she was very deserving and that no one lost out on a Happy Heart Experience for her to be chosen. She is a strong young lady whom we were delighted to spend a day with and spoil; even if only for a day. Follow her story on Facebook at Emma’s Fight.

Emma- We had the most incredible day taking you on your Happy Heart Shopping Spree! It was an absolute delight spending our time with you. I am sending so much love to you and your family from everyone at The Braedon Foundation. Thank you for helping to keep Braedon’s bright light shinning by becoming part of The Braedon Foundation Family!

Love, Healing & Abundance

XO Tiffany Agnew,

Founder & Board President

Happy Heart Shopping Spree: Marissa The Fierce One

Have you ever met someone and just instantly knew they were an exceptional human? That’s how myself and my Co-Happy Heart Shopping Spree Coordinator Loretta Hodges felt this past Saturday when we had the privilege of meeting our very first Happy Heart Shopping Spree Recipient, Marissa Gootjes.    Marissa at tree

Marissa was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in Fall of 2017. Since than Marissa has been through so much at a time when life is supposed to be all about making memories with her friends and family, playing her beloved hockey and getting through high school. Instead Marissa has been battling the most aggressive form of incurable brain cancer, juggling doctors’ appointments, scans, intense treatments and traveling to and from Halifax to see specialist.

After hearing about everything Marissa has been going through, we immediately knew we wanted to do something special for her. Marissa is our third applicant and the first to choose a Happy Heart Shopping Spree. We took her, her mother Jan and sister Madelyn out for the longest shopping day Marissa ever had! 7 hours of shopping, exploring the malls and a nice dinner. Marissa with us

What really stood out about this amazing 15-year-old was that she showed up with a Christmas list ready to shop not just for herself but for many others. Marissa had put a lot of thought into this. She wanted to get Christmas presents for her parents, both of her sisters, some family and a few of her friends too. She even wanted to make a trip to the pet store to get a gift for her dog and to pick up cat food for the SPCA as she had heard they were in need. Her generosity was absolutely heart warming.

Even after all she’s been through and continues to go through, Marissa still has the most beautiful heart. She has not been hardened by the trauma she has faces. She is strong, generous and fierce; an incredible young lady that we were absolutely delighted to meet and spoil for the day. I know that Braedon would have would have thought this shopping spree was absolutely awesome and his light shined bright as we delivered this Happy Heart Shopping Spree in his memory.

Sending so much love to the Gootjes Family

~Tiffany Agnew                                                                                                                                 The Braedon Foundation Founder & Braedon’s Mom


                   “It was so nice to see Marissa having fun and being a normal teenager…”              Jan Gootjes, Marissa’s Mom

Follow her story on Facebook at Marissa the Fierce One.



Gavin Jones’ Happy Heart Makeover

The Braedon Foundation had a very special weekend!

Meet the Jones family; Gavin, Berlin, Amanda and Jason. We had the pleasure of meeting family picthem in person this past Saturday. Little Gavin has Juvenile Dermatomyositis, a rare life-threatening autoimmune disorder affecting 1 in 4 million that has no cure. At just 4 years of age; Gavin has been through more than what most of us will go through in a lifetime. After several misdiagnoses Gavin was finally diagnosed in September of 2017. Since than he has had life threatening complications and defied the odds after surviving rare complications during a routine procedure. Gavin is still receiving ongoing treatments at home, at the Saint John Regional Hospital and at the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax.

After hearing Gavin’s story, we were eager to create an amazing toy room for him, his sister Berlin and the whole family to enjoy. Our mission is to bring happiness to children in NB who are facing severe, life threatening and or high-risk illness. We just want to bring a little hope to these families and provide kids who have had to face unimaginable health battles just a few moments of happiness and joy.

After over 10 hours of shopping, 2 hours of home prep and 6 more hours of working our magic in just 2 days we had the divine privilege of delivering another Happy Heart Makeover and bringing just a little happiness in to the Jones’ home. Although Gavin was pretty sleepy by the time, we were able to deliver the big reveal his mom, Amanda tells us he was back up at 5:00 am to play in his new room.


This is the second Happy Heart Makeover that we’ve been able to complete since starting the foundation shortly after losing our own sweet boy Braedon on May 16, 2018. I know many of you wonder how we’re doing it, how are we able to move forward through such devastating loss. The truth is it’s incredibly difficult. Some times I cry with every word I type, every event I organize and every plan I make. In the same sense though, as incredibly difficult it is it’s also equally easy. Easy because I know that no matter what I am doing this. Easy because I know there is nothing that will stop me. Easy because I know that it is something that I want to do, have to do and need to do.

I have no doubts that Braedon’s light is shining on in the Jones’ home and that is worth every effort and every tear. Seeing the reactions of the family, knowing we were able to provide them with a little reprieve, seeing their smiles and the joy on their faces and watching look around in awe and with excitement was a truly amazing experience.

Love Tiffany

Braedon’s Mom

This room was completed by Happy Heart Makeover Specialists Tiffany Agnew & Loretta Hodges, James Agnew and our awesome volunteer painter Kevin Eagles from Eagles Painting 

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Happiness heals hearts

The Braedon Foundation was created to honour  a brave young man who was taken from us too early at 18.

Through this foundation, established in his name, we are helping to bring joy to other children who are fighting health battles.

To recommend a child living in NB to receive either a fun shopping spree or a bedroom makeover, please fill in this form.

To help make these joyous moments a reality, consider donating here or get involved.

Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they’re already asleep. –H. Jackson Brown Jr.