GOGOLDfor CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS

 

Did you know that approximately 850 Canadian children aged 0 –14 develop cancer each year?  Childhood Cancers account for less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed in Canada, but it remains the most common disease related cause of death in children and adolescents aged 1-19 and the second leading cause of all deaths among children aged 1-14.  The number of deaths is one-sixth the number of cases.  While cancer incidence rate in children has been relatively constant since 1985, the cancer mortality rate has started to decline thanks to research funded by a variety of childhood cancer charity organizations.   That is why it is essential that people recognize the need to fund these charities and help the children affected by cancer and their families deal with the disease and the treatment protocols.

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Over the past 16 months, I have been very focused on childhood cancer after being introduced to many cancer champions during my reign as Miss Teen Ontario East 2014 and now as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015.  I have been able to spend time in the Oncology ward at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and I witnessed what these courageous young champions go through every day just to survive.  I have volunteered with various childhood cancer charities and assisted in their quest to help kids suffering

Cancer Patient in physio therapy session

Cancer Patient in physio therapy session

through such a devastating diagnosis.  Many of the charities that I was introduced to emphasized the need to create awareness of childhood cancer and the need to support both the charities assisting those children and their families that have been affected by the disease, as well as those charities that fund critical medical research studies.  There is a definite need to develop new and more precise treatment protocols and in depth gene studies to help to find a cure for the various types of childhood cancer.

As a regional titleholder, I have been working throughout the Eastern Ontario Region with the various charities to raise awareness of, and raise funds for, childhood cancer.  I am anxious to take my platform to the national level!

If chosen as Miss Teenage Canada 2015, I would like to institute the following CHARITY PLATFORM PLAN to promote my charity.  My plan is as follows:

  • UTILIZE Social Media to Promote and Inform

Social media is an intricate tool in the success of my Charity program.  It is an excellent way to spread the work to the masses.  Posting on Facebook, putting tags on Twitter and utilizing website links are easy, free and reach a vast audience.  Keeping these outlets updated and current is a wonderful way to promote my Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign.

Be the Gold

I incorporated my Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario BLOG into my project plan and I have done a SERIES called BE THE GOLD on my blog to promote to a wide audience.  Click on the CHARITY PLATFORM category on my Blog to access my BE THE GOLD series.   I have been receiving excellent feedback on these blog posts.

Miss Teen Ontario East pageant's Tribute to Childhood Cancer Awareness Number

  • Organize and Host Fundraising Events for Childhood Cancer Charities

 

In order to get my message across to others, I would organize various fundraising events for Childhood cancer charities; volleyball tournaments, trivia nights, seniors teas etc.  Teams and individuals who attend or participate in the events are made aware of Childhood Cancer Charities and awareness is promoted through word of mouth advertising and brochures and posters that I would post at all events.

  • Establish a Relationship with Regional/National media to Promote event

An important part of any Charity platform would be to establish a relationship with the media.  I would meet with media representatives, build a relationship, introduce my charity platform, invite them to an event and encourage them to write an article or do an interview.

  • Attend Charity Events for Childhood Cancer Charities
At Candlelighters MASQUER-AID Gala with cancer champion Paige

At Candlelighters MASQUER-AID Gala with cancer champion Paige

To prove my commitment to my platform, I registered as a volunteer with several of the Childhood Cancer Charity organizations in my region.  Given the opportunity, I would also do this to the national charities.  Registering as a volunteer means that I am immediately contacted when they have a charity or fundraising event planned.  To date, I have performed all types of roles at these events from hosting, to cooking, to organizing kids games, to handing out brochures and even golfing, just to name a few.

  • Encourage others to Get Involved

It is my goal to take at least one new volunteer with me every time I attend one of the Childhood Cancer charity events.  It just takes a push to give another young person the initiative to get involved.  Once they attend the event, meet the champions, and understand what the charities provide to the children and their families, they are hooked.

  • Bring Impact to a Presentation

Awake the compassion and emotion in the audience!  In order to bring the message home

1/2 of Paige's Courage Bead necklace

1/2 of Paige’s Courage Bead necklace

and make an impact, I would bring one of my cancer champion friends to speak and tell their story.  One of the most impacting visual presentations I have seen is one of my Cancer Champion’s Courage Bead Necklace; A program initiated by the Candlelighters where a child diagnosed is given a leather string at diagnosis and then every time they have a procedure, blood poke, hospital stay etc. they are given the coloured bead that represents that particular facet of their protocol.  They add beads through their treatment protocol and in the end the bead necklace tells their story.  These necklaces are heart-wrenching and very impacting.  You can SEE what the child has gone through by looking at their bead necklaces.

  • Make them Remember My Message

ccamIn order to achieve this goal, I have made Gold Cancer Awareness Ribbons that I distribute at my various appearances accompanied with a card indicating my platform.  These awareness ribbons provide a visual reminder of the need to donate to a childhood cancer charity.

 

IN conclusion, I am hoping that by choosing “CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS” as my charity platform, I will be able to spread my passion and dedication of helping the young Cancer Champions who have changed my outlook on life, to an even wider audience of volunteers and financial contributors.  It is my hope that a continued focus on Childhood cancer will help to create new and less invasive treatment protocols for kids with cancer and will also result in more advanced and generous financial assistance programs for the children and their families dealing with this dreaded disease.

I GO GOLD for Childhood cancer!  WILL YOU?

Be the Gold

 

Theresa

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AND I’M OFF to the MISS TEENAGE CANADA PAGEANT!

My luggage and I are READY TO GO!

My luggage and I are READY TO GO!

After all of the fundraising, shopping trips, blog assignments, media and charity appearances, I am now officially OFF TO NATIONALS!

Leaving the countryside for the Big City!

Leaving the countryside for the Big City!

I am so excited about meeting the beautiful young ladies coming to Toronto from across the country and making memories with them that will last a life time.  I am so fortunate to have been given this amazing opportunity and I intend to cherish every moment (even those moments when my feet hurt!)

The Miss Teenage Canada Pageant will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I wanted to take this blog to thank those special folks who have supported me along the way.  I can’t thank everyone by name because this blog would take up all the space on the website but I want to single out a few:

Very Special thanks:

BBAYTo the residents of my home town of Barry’s Bay and all of the wonderful local businesses who have sponsored my Free the Children “FUN”draising events, assisted with prizes and supported my throughout the past few months;  my sincerest thanks!

To the owners and my work team at BARRY’S BAY METRO you have been so good to me;  providing me with a flexible schedule so I could attend and host events, sponsoring some of my events and for always being behind every task that I took on.  You have been so accommodating and supportive!

And to my customers from Metro – you have all been so supportive and interested in what I was doing next.

To my MOM, Janet; thank you for helping me even when I didn’t realize that I needed help.  You are so hardworking, kind and dedicated to helping others.  You are an amazing woman and someone I can learn from and aspire to be like.

 

Getting packed up in the vehicle for MTC with Dad and Mom

Getting packed up in the vehicle for MTC with Dad and Mom

To my DAD, MIKE; you have handled all of my business so well.  No matter how busy you are, you always make time for me.  You are incredibly hardworking.  I want to thank you for your wisdom and guidance.

Getting a Good Luck hug from Grandma

Getting a Good Luck hug from Grandma

To my entire family and extended family – my 6 brothers and sisters, my aunts, uncles and cousins you have all been behind me 100% and I so appreciate it.

To my boyfriend Brandon’s family, your continued support means so much to me.  My own fridge doesn’t have as many newspaper clippings of me on it as Faye’s does!

To my girl friends that have seen so little of me this past year and a half yet still continue to keep me in the loop.   I care about you all so much and am so thankful to have such an incredible group of lovely, beautiful best friends.

To the MISS TEEN ONTARIO EAST Pageant team; Toe LogoWOW!  Where to begin!  They introduced me to this whole pageantry world.  I was drawn to their pageant because it had a purpose; A GOLD RIBBON purpose!  My life has been forever changed by the cancer champions that I have met and the charities that I have worked with. This past year I have been exposed to so much and have has so many life-changing experiences that will affect me as I go forward in life.  The group of ladies that make up the MTOE Organization and their families are so generous and giving; they will try to do anything in their power for anyone. To say THANK YOU is not enough for this team.  The only thing I can do is to take what they have taught me, apply it to my future and make them forever proud of my choices.

To my Miss Teenage Canada Prep Team; Delaney, Hannah, Caroline, Patti, Paige, Jill, Kathleen, Hillary and Gracie; thank you for helping me get ready for nationals and for sharing your wardrobes with me! lol

To my  SILENT SPONSOR, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest in my work with childhood cancer and in my charity endeavours.  I truly believe we were supposed to meet and have a part in each other’s world.  I promise to do my best to make you proud!

MTEO Prom with BrandonFinally, to my boyfriend Brandon, thank you for being such a patient and supportive partner.  Time commitments certainly affected our time together but you never complained and were always there to give me a hand in all of my “FUN”Draising events and charity appearances.  You are an incredible person.  Thank you for caring so much for me!

I wish I had the time (and fast typing skills) to thank everyone who has assisted me during my reign as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario but unfortunately I do not.  I have a Pageant to get ready for!  LOL, But, I am truly appreciative to everyone who has supported me and I promise to represent the Eastern Ontario region and the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant to the best of my abilities.  I can promise I will cherish every moment of this unique experience and I will be the Ambassador that you expect me to be!

MTC LOGO

HERE I COME!

 

 

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

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FUNDRAISING is an EXTREME SPORT! Marc A. Pitman
Fundraising worldWhat an incredible region I live in! I have completed my six week “FUN”draising project for Free the Children and I want to thank my community of Barry’s Bay, my adopted pageant area, the Town of Renfrew and the residents throughout the Eastern Ontario region for attending my events and supporting my Free the Children initiatives.

 

Champions

Champions

Two Mixed Lob Ball tournaments proved to be not only a great “FUN”draising idea but also both tournaments provided a day of sport and entertainment for all of the teams that participated.  My latest tournament held in Barry’s Bay got a wee bit wet, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the die hard ball players (except for the slight delay due to the lightening storm).  Special thanks to all of my volunteers who helped score, umpire and bbq.bbayball2

I added a wonderful family ball hockey event last week which provided youth and families from my town an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, watch the kids play road hockey, engage in some neighbourly conversation all while supporting my Free the Children “FUN”draising project.

ball hockey 3

A couple of raffles and a Beach Volleyball tournament were also part of my project and all proved to be successful thanks to the wonderful folks who supported me. I am truly humbled by everyone’s enthusiasm in my fundraising endeavours and I can’t thank folks enough for getting involved and supporting this incredible international charity.

My attempt at  Beach Volleyball with a Crown

My attempt at Beach Volleyball with a Crown

My most popular “FUN”draising initiative was the selling of my delicious personalized chocolate bars.  Thank you so much to J&J Chocolate Sensations for making my milk chocolate bars and for wrapping them in a special Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario wrapper!

My Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario Chocolate bars from J&J Chocolate Sensations

My Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario Chocolate bars from J&J Chocolate Sensations

Organizing, hosting and chairing each event gave me a valuable insight into the dedication, time and effort that is put in by charity co-ordinators. I polished my multi-tasking skills, brushed off my time management skills and certainly fine-tuned my salesmanship when soliciting for event gift sponsors. The businesses and companies in my area were extremely generous and all were very supportive of the Free the Children charity.

ftc logo revisedI am proud of my accomplishment and I am excited to hand in my final tally to Free the Children when I register at the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant on Sunday! I promise to share my final tally in an upcoming blog!
Ultimately, I achieved my goal of putting the “FUN” in FUNDRAISING!

Thank you to everyone who supported my Free the Children "FUN"draising Project

Thank you to everyone who supported my Free the Children “FUN”draising Project

Keep tuned in,
Theresa

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My Gold Ribbon Heroes and My Friends Paige and Jill

My Gold Ribbon Heroes and My Friends Paige and Jill

“A HERO is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Christopher Reeve

My heroes;

“Ride IV poles down the Hallways.

They have bald heads but are beautiful.

They go through chemotherapy, radiation and endure lots of pokes.

They smile even though they are fighting for their lives.

They may be small, but they are mighty!

They are my HEROES in GOLD!”

I hope you have found my BE THE GOLD childhood Cancer Blog Series interesting and informative. My life has been changed over the past 16 months that I have spent working with CANDLELIGHTERS, Childhood Cancer Support Programs, meeting young cancer heroes and hearing the stories of their battles and challenges.

BLOG cancer pic Bald quoteThere is nothing more heart-wrenching or inspiring than walking through the halls of the oncology floor at a children’s hospital. It is truly life-changing! It alters the way you look at things and the way you deal with certain “drama” in your life. For instance, as a teenage girl, having a bad hair day can be traumatic; seeing a fifteen year old girl who is bald and fighting for life really brings that into perspective. Trivial problems become just that; TRIVIAL! One young girl I met who was in her thirty-sixth week of a sixty-eight week treatment protocol said it best, “My Dad said being bald brings out the blue in my eyes!”  Poignant and true!

These amazing young heroes have a respect and a love for life that is truly infectious. They have taught me to appreciate every day and to not take anything for granted. I am humbled by their courage and their ability to smile even though what they are going through is devastating. My life has been enriched by my experience with Candlelighters and through my Childhood Cancer Awareness promotion events.

I have such an appreciation, respect and compassion for the parents who go through thisBlog cancer pic devastating journey with their children. I know, through my interviews with parents for my BE THE GOLD series, they have been dealt a hand that no parent wants to be presented with but they need to be strong and positive for their child; a difficult task when their hearts are broken and their child’s life is in the balance.

The leaders behind the scenes of the various charities that support kids with cancer are the silent heroes. They have a passion and drive to make a difference and to help make each child’s journey just a little bit easier. Thanks to Jocelyn Lamont, Executive Director of the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs Inc. for not only participating in my BE THE GOLD Blog series but also for introducing me into the inner workings of a charity organization and inviting me to participate in their events and fund raisers. I am now addicted to volunteering!

Highlighting our Gold Ribbon Champions at the MTOE Pageant

Highlighting our Gold Ribbon Champions at the MTOE Pageant

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank my personal GOLD RIBBON Champions; Paige, Jill, Annie, Nathan, Jordan and Jessica for letting me into their lives and for allowing me to become a part of their stories. Your courage, strength and passion for life is inspirational. I am truly blessed to call you all my friends!

In conclusion, I would like to encourage all of you to BE THE GOLD! Volunteer or Donate to a childhood cancer charity. Wear a Gold Childhood Cancer Awareness ribbon to spread the word to all you meet. You really can enrich the life of a child with cancer and in doing so, you will feel enriched in return!

Be the Gold

Theresa

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4 countdownFour more Sleeps until MISS TEENAGE CANADA!

BLOG Stressed picYes, I am feeling slightly stressed!  So much to do and so little time left to accomplish my tasks!  I was feeling overwhelmed when a friend of mine shared “The 12 Most Effective Time Management Principals”.  I think she sent it as a joke, but I am actually taking the principles to heart and putting them to use as I get prepared to leave for Nationals in six short days.

I thought I would share with my readers to give you an inside to my “Pageant Preparation” dilemmas:

  1. Determine what is Urgent
    1. TIARA, SASH, SHOES, GOWN, Outfits for the week, Accessories, Make up, Snacks, Laptop, Forms for Registration
  2. Photo provided by handaculture.wordpress.comDon’t over commit
    1. Take all the shoes I have identified in Number 1 and narrow the choices down by half!
  3. Have a Plan for your Time
    1. Make a list of things to be done and STICK to it
  4. Allow time for the unexpected
    1. For me, this will likely be time to second guess my shoe options!
  5. Handle things once
    1. Don’t stroke the item off my list until it has been accomplished
  6. Create Realistic deadlines
    1. Don’t put down that I will commit to 4 pairs of shoes! It won’t happen!
  7. Set goals for yourself and your time
    1. Put a COMPLETION DATE for each item on the list and STICK TO IT.
  8. Develop Routines
    1. Ensure meetings and media appointments are set during the working hours and then do the packing etc at night.
  9. Focus on ONE THING at a TIME
    Photo credit www.targetprocess.com

    Photo credit www.targetprocess.com

    1. Do not move onto the next task until the present one is FINISHED
  10. Eliminate or minimize distractions
    1. Don’t get sidetracked SHOE Shopping this week!
  11. Outsource tasks or delegate
    1. Ask for help to do some of the errands that need to be done this week.
  12. Leave Time for Fun and Play
    1. Not sure if I will have time for much play this week but preparing for Nationals is FUN so even though at times I feel overwhelmed with what has to be done, I am having a GREAT time preparing!

Relating the “12 Most Effective Time Management Principles” to my Miss Teenage Canada last minute preparations has been very helpful.  If ever we needed Time management skills, it is this week.

I have promised my readers that I would post Preparation Updates to my Blog this week prior to leaving on Sunday so I will do my best to share this incredible experience with you.

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

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“Hello out there, we’re on the air, I’ts Hockey night tonight!” Stompin Tom Connors

Take a beautiful summer afternoon; add some small town enthusiasm, a great Canadian tradition and a world renowned charity and you have one entertaining event.

ball hockey 3Hockey is the ultimate Canadian sport, and for those living in small small town Canada, it is also what unites us and brings rural Canadian dwellers closer together.  In my small home town, the village of Barry’s Bay,  hockey provides just that and we modify the sport to participate in summer.  Last night, as part of my Miss Teenage Canada Pageant Free the Children Fund raising project, I hosted a family-friendly three on three ball hockey tournament on the streets of Barry’s’ Bay.   Several families came together to support Free the Children and to have a great time playing our modified national sport.

The “Ball Hockey Scrimmage” event consisted of girls and boys ages 8-14 (for the junior Ball hockey1division) and 15-18 (for the senior division) to come singly or as a team, and enjoy the nation’s sport, using a ball instead of a hockey puck! For a small fee, from 4 pm – 8 pm, children and youth were able to take their hockey equipment out of summer hibernation and put it to use in a safe and supervised environment.  Exercise prompts appetites, so BBQ hotdogs and drinks were also sold to give the participants the energy they needed to make it through the evening!

It was a wonderful “FUN”d raising event for Free the Children but it was also an opportunity for families from the community to come together, have some fun and catch up with neighbours and friends.

ball hockey 2“Don’t ever forget where you came from-especially if you don’t know where you are going.”  Sara Marie Hogg.

A huge thank you goes out to all of the people who supported my event through donations or as a volunteer;  the cooks, the referees, the individuals who handled all of the equipment, and those who built some of the equipment- thank you!   Thank you to the families who allowed their children to participate and who came out to support their kids and the charity.   It was a fantastic evening celebrating the Free the Children Charity.

Kids helping kids is a requirement to keep focusing on the future of volunteerism in our communities!

ball hockey 4

“No matter where life will take me…I will never forget where I came from…” Theresa, Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

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VOLLEY for GOLD

Some Volley for GOLD action

Some Volley for GOLD action

On Saturday, we put the FUN in Fundraising!  My home pageant committee, the Teen Ontario East Pageant organization hosted a BEACH VOLLEYBALL tournament for Childhood Cancer;  VOLLEY FOR GOLD.  A good time was had by all.  It was the perfect day, slightly overcast in the morning and bright sunshine in the afternoon.  There was lots of volleyball, lots of laughs and some money raised for Childhood Cancer charities.  I personally had a great day, met some new people and even played a point or two with my tiara on to get a few more dollars donated!

In the spirit of the game!

In the spirit of the game!

Volunteering and Fundraising is the main directive of my home pageant;  The Teen Ontario East Organization and I have learned so much about organizing, hosting and promoting charity events from this group of ladies.  To make an event successful, you need to have passion for the charity and a genuine desire to make a difference for the individuals that benefit from your chosen charity.  For me,  that is Childhood Cancer Awareness.  Having spent the last 16 months working with childhood cancer charities, meeting some of the young cancer heroes and their families and having participated in a variety of events for various childhood cancer charities has ignited my passion to do all I can to make a difference in the lives of kids with cancer.  Like many others, I don’t have a millionaire’s bank account so I don’t have the opportunity to donate large sums of money to the charities I have become involved with, but I do have a valuable resource to donate;  ME!  Volunteers are always needed in order to make fundraising events a success.  Time is a valuable resource and something that we can all donate.

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are PRICELESS.”  Sherry Anderson

Beach Tourney 2I have been fortunate through my title as Miss Teen Ontario East and now as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario to be introduced to a variety of charities, assisting and supporting different needs that are evident in our communities.  I was asked at a function recently how I choose what to attend and what charities to support, and I responded that I wanted to attend as many as events as possible to get an inside view of what various charities provide and how they operate.  I was looking for my personal passion.  There are so many critical charities that provide support to a variety of needs and each is equally as important.  For me, my passion is Childhood Cancer and the charities to assist kids with cancer.  That being said, I also dedicate time and energy to Free the Children, various international charities that are associated to my church and local charities that assist those in need directly in my small community.  Everyone needs to find their passion and take the initiative to get involved with a charity that ignites that passion.  It is an incredible feeling to do something for someone else; to know you are making a difference for someone less fortunate or someone who needs specific support.  I guarantee that the fulfillment you get back will be life-changing!

“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.  If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.  If you want to touch the future, touch a life.”  Author Unknown

My VOLLEY for GOLD Team; Rory, Caylin, Stuart, Nick and Breigh

My VOLLEY for GOLD Team; Rory, Caylin, Stuart, Nick and Breigh

We all have the ability to touch a life through volunteerism!  So, if you are asked to play volleyball, BBQ some burgers, sell tickets or wash a car for a charity or cause, please take the opportunity to do so.  Experience the FUN in FUNDRAISING!

“Take the initiative!  Find a Passion!  Volunteer!  Touch a flower!”  Theresa, Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

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Be the Gold

An  interesting installment of my BE THE GOLD – Childhood Cancer Awareness series had me interviewing a medical professional who works in a children’s oncology ward;  a truly difficult but essential facet of the childhood cancer world.  I am amazed by the compassion and positive influence these incredible professionals have on the young cancer champions and their families.  Due to confidentiality restrictions, I am not able to share pictures of my interview subject.

Question:    Working with childhood cancer patients must be difficult, what inspires you to go to work everyday?

Prepping for chemo treatment

Prepping for chemo treatment

Answer:     It is difficult to see kids go through their treatments and to have to be the one to administer the needles and medications that make them sick, but they are my inspiration.  Their strength and innocence is incredible.  They go through so much but they give you that “it’s ok” smile and it melts your heart.  They truly are remarkable.

Question:    What made you choose pediatric oncology as a career?

Answer:      I guess it found me.  I took a temporary position on the oncology floor several years ago and I never looked back.  Some days are very difficult;  when you lose a patient, that despite fighting with everything they have, they loose their battle but other days are enlightening; the days when you give their last treatment needle or when you sign off their chart and send it off to the After care clinic.  That is a good day and a day that makes it all worthwhile.

Question:     I have interviewed parents to get their perspective, do you have a lot of dealings with the parents?

Answer:       Of course we do.  The parents are with the children (most of them anyway)cancer awareness 24-7.  Most of these poor parents have been thrust into our world in the most traumatic way.  I am sure they never thought they would be dealing with a child with cancer and so we try to be there for them as well (as much as we can).  Those of us working in the field of pediatric oncology chose this field, parents of a childhood cancer patient do not.  They are put into a world of complex medications, side effects and life-critical decisions that they did not expect.  It is every parent’s worst fear;  a child with cancer.  I consider it part of my job to be there to support them as well.

Question:    My charity platform is Childhood cancer Awareness, is there anything you would like to share with my readers?

Blog pic resend1Answer:     First of all, I commend you for this blog series.  It is heartwarming to see the care and genuine desire you have to make a difference for these kids.  To answer you question;  the more childhood cancer is talked about,  and the more awareness created will mean more visibility with those in the medical community, the research community and the government funding agencies.  Seeing these amazing kids go through what they do everyday, emphasizes that so much more research and funding is required.  No child should spend their days in the hospital fighting for their life.  It’s just not fair. cancer stats photo Government medical funding officials and medical administrators should ALL read YOUR  blog to get a true perspective of how crucial it is to recognize the needs of these children and their specific cancer protocols.

Question:  Is there any message you would like to leave my readers with?

Answer:     It is impossible, for a variety of reasons, for everyone to be able to spend time on a kids cancer ward, and as much as we try to make it bearable, it is what it is;  it’s the place no parent or child ever wants to be.  I hope that someday a cure for childhood cancer is found and there will no longer be a need for an Oncology ward, but until that day comes, I will be here to help the kids and families as much as I can.

The amazing Robin Williams said it best in the "must see" movie; Patch Adams

The amazing Robin Williams said it best in the “must see” movie; Patch Adams

 

I would like to extend a very special thank you to my interview subject.  Your viewpoint has a definite impact on my message and your presence and care for these amazing Heroes is truly a gift!  Thank you!

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

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You are educated.  Your certification is in your hands.  You may think of it as the ticket to the good life.  Let me ask you to think of an alternative.  Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”  Tom Brokaw

GRAD clilp

High school Graduation!  It still seems surreal that I am a High School Graduate and getting prepared to pursue my dreams at the University level.  I wanted to share my High school graduation memory with all of you because it is such a big part of who I am!

With my "Grad Surprise" Guest, My Sister StephanieThe evening began at 6 pm sharp- all graduates were to arrive an hour early to get their graduation apparel on (the gown and cap) and also for pictures to be taken by the newspaper, friends, family, and others. These moments were special because they were the last prior to graduation that all of the graduates were able to spend with each other; the people we have spent the last four years of our lives with. This was also a very special time for me personally, because my sister Stephanie made a surprise appearance.  It was absolutely wonderful to be surrounded by so many people that you love and who love you.

It came time to organize together, after mingling and taking pictures, back into the school and into our graduation order. Alphabetically, we lined up inside the B-wing of our school which hid us from the crowd of people that were ready to congratulate us around the corner.  This was a special moment filled with mixed feelings; some of us were getting anxious while others were feeling nervous or sad that the time had come which officially marked the end of our high school days.

MDVHS logo

When the clock struck 7 pm, because the Madawaska Valley District High School graduation is ALWAYS a punctual one, we began our walk down the hall, through our clapping and smiling teachers, and into the dimmed and elegantly decorated cafeteria where our friends and family stood celebrating our success.  This experience was nearly as memorable as walking across the stage.  It was overwhelming to feel the love and happiness surround you as the people who pushed you through school and loved you through it all, were standing there to praise you.  Looking to the teachers that you became so close to, or the one that you struggled to get along with, and seeing their excited, proud and happy faces was truly incredible-they were recognizing our success as well.

Receiving my Diploma

Receiving my Diploma

Into our respective seats all of us graduates went. The graduation ceremony had begun! After special words from a representative of the Renfrew County School Board and MVDHS Principle Dave Bishop, the names began to be called out and we all followed across the brightly lit stage to receive our diploma.  It was a true moment in the spot light had by all.

After all of the graduates received their diplomas, it became time for all other bursaries to be distributed as well as awards. I found it truly amazing how much the community of Barry’s Bay supports graduates; so many bursaries were awarded, and to a variety of very deserving students! The awards began to be explained and the recipients were also identified. Many of my friends were award winners which was incredibly exciting because they were so deserving of the award(s). It was also incredibly exciting to hear my own name read to the crowd as the recipient of two awards. I was awarded the Governor General Student

Honoured to Receive the Governor General's Award for Volunteer and Community Involvement

Honoured to Receive the Governor General’s Volunteer Award

Volunteer Award as well as the MV Lions Club Citizenship Award. Both of these awards were ones that I felt very privileged to receive. Both depict a very active and involved community youth member which is someone who I strive to be. This coveted award is presented to someone who has obtained a number of community hours that exceeds the required 40 hours to graduate.  I had an incredible number of community hours, in part due to my involvement with the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant Organization. I was continuously notified of community involvement opportunities

Recipient of the MV Citizenship Award

Recipient of the MV Citizenship Award

because this pageant organization strongly believes in giving back to your community whenever and wherever you can. Thank you very much Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant Organization for giving me those opportunities which enabled me to be a notable candidate for the above awards.

After all 79 graduates had been commended the graduation ceremony concluded. It was at this time that all of us were asked to stand and face our family and friends. Looking past and through the graduation caps and shoulders in front and to the side of you, your family and friends stood- they were smiling, some were crying, and overall appearing incredibly proud of the child, grandchild, sister/brother, niece/nephew, or dear friend that stood before their eyes. This period of time was short, but very unforgettable, and it was then the announcement came forward for all graduates to remove their graduation cap and toss them up into the air above their heads. We all had officially graduated high school! As we all exited the cafeteria, our graduation song “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa played. Some tears began for many because that song explained the essence of this event completely;

With my proud parents

With my proud parents

 “We’ve come a long way from where we began, but I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”…

High school is not the same experience for everyone- not at all. There are good experiences and some not so good. Some may leave high school with too many friends, good memories, and successes to count, but for others, they leave high school with one or two friends—possibly none—some difficult memories that they do not want to remember, and grades that simply got them by. School can be really hard, and for some, their personal situation can make it increasingly hard for them. In saying this, each graduate of MVDHS deserves equal praise because all of them have been successful under their own personal circumstances.

Congratulations to all!  I truly cannot wait to see all you again.

Madawaska District High School - Graduating Class of 2015

Madawaska District High School – Graduating Class of 2015

 

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

Written by: Theresa Tagged with:, , , , , , ,
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CAN FLAG

 

How does one capture the essence that is Canada into a single report?  The short answer;  you can’t!  There are so many facets to our Country that make it GREAT and make me proud to call it HOME!  It’s the incredible scenery across our vast country, the pride of our heritage, the genuine compassion of our people, the diversity of our population, the variety of our cultures from province to province and the unique factors that make Canada memorable.

CANADIAN PEOPLE are GR-EH-T!

I am a PROUD CANADIAN!

I think John Diefenbaker said it best when he said, I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” 

This pride in our country is shared by all Canadians whether you are a resident of the gorgeous province of BC, a genuine “FLANDER” or somewhere in between.  We are recognized throughout the world as the “polite society”, saying thank you or sorry with unusual frequency but not without genuine expression.  Our people are our greatest asset!  We have diverse ethnic groups , who co-exist in communities large and small throughout our beautiful country.

Bill Clinton was quoted saying, “In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect.”  High praise from the former President of the United States.

CANADA’S GEOGRAPHY is GR-EH-T

The Canadian motto, A Mari Usque ad Mare, means “From sea to sea” and personifies the vastness of our land stretching across 9 984 670 sq kms from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and running through 6 times zones.  We boast the world’s longest coastline at 202 080 km and have a unique topography that is unique to Canada alone.

Photo credit www.Britishcolumbia.com

Photo credit www.Britishcolumbia.com

Starting in British Columbia on the Pacific Coast, you are subjected to ten mountain ranges that push west from The ROCKIES until they reach the Pacific Ocean and thousand year old majestic trees grace the scenery.  There are glacier-fed streams that pour through valleys flowing into rivers, creating some of the most magnificent viewpoints in the world.  It is a province filled with sea-side fun, famous ski resorts and unique glacier hiking expeditions.

Then travelling on the Trans Canada Highway (which goes

Hoodoos, Badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada. Photo credit www.nationalgeographic.com
Hoodoos, Badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada. Photo credit www.nationalgeographic.com

through the entire country), through the intimidating Rocky Mountains you come into the gorgeous province of Alberta with its national parks (Banff is the oldest national park in Canada) which are famous for the ice fields, the forests and the muskeg and then you come across the Alberta Badlands located in southeastern Alberta .  Alberta is also known as the world’s third largest producer of natural gas and the second largest agriculture producer in Canada.

 

The Prairies of Saskachewan.  Photo credit www.oxfordhousesk.ca

The Prairies of Saskachewan. Photo credit www.oxfordhousesk.ca

Moving east you begin to enter the Prairie Provinces, the first of which is Saskatchewan; also known as the “province of 100,000 lakes” and boasts as Canada’s sunniest province.  Driving through the province you will see endless fields but the northern portion of the province has numerous lakes and is a popular stop for canoe enthusiasts.  Prince Albert National Park located in Saskatchewan has a variety of Canadian wildlife in their natural habitat including bison, moose and black bear.  As you follow the Trans-Canada Highway you will pass through the capital of Regina.

Then you are into the prairie province of Manitoba, the centre of Canada.  Manitoba is a

The cultural essence of Manitoba.  Photo credit www.gov.mb.ca

The cultural essence of Manitoba. Photo credit www.gov.mb.ca

beautiful province with a strong historical background.  Early explorers arrived through Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba and set up fur trading posts along the rivers.  The province is rich in minerals and metals because it lies in the area of Canada known as the Canadian Shield.  It is the world leader in the production of nickel.

One of the Wonders of the World NIAGARA FALLS.  Photo credit www.smartontariotravel.com

One of the Wonders of the World NIAGARA FALLS. Photo credit www.smartontariotravel.com

From Manitoba, you enter my home province of Ontario which is vast, beautiful and is home to the one of the  wonders of the world;  Niagara FallsOntario also offers a diverse cultural experience which changes from the multi-cultural and populated city of Toronto to the small rural communities dotted throughout the province.  Ontario is also a vacationer’s dream because it is dotted with lakes and rivers, provincial parks, scenic hiking tours, ski resorts and is home to the oldest provincial park in Ontario and one of the largest parks in North America;  Algonquin Provincial Park which is located just minutes from my house.  Ontario is also home to our nation’s capital; OTTAWA.

As you pass through Ontario, you enter the province of Quebec;  Canada’s largest province

Quebec-A Historical Gem  Photo credit www.quebecregion.com

Quebec-A Historical Gem Photo credit www.quebecregion.com

and French-speaking province.  Quebec is a very historical province and boasts the beautiful cities of Montreal and Quebec City, which is the only walled city north of Mexico.  The majority of the Quebecois live near the shores of the Saint Lawrence River.  The province is the main producer of Maple Syrup in Canada and the Dairy industry is also the largest in Canada.

The New Brunswick coastline   Photo cedit www.travelandescape.com

The New Brunswick coastline Photo cedit www.travelandescape.com

As you cross the border into New Brunswick , you have officially entered the area known as the Maritimes in Canada.  New Brunswick is Canada’s only OFFICIALLY Bilingual province and is made up five diverse regions and has a variety of landscape and attractions.  It has the ocean, beaches, mountains, rivers, cities, small towns and the highest tides in the world in the Bay of Fundy.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the most easterly edge of North

A fishing village with the Iceberg in the distance.  Photo credit www.canada-photos.com

A fishing village with the Iceberg in the distance. Photo credit www.canada-photos.com

America and is where the sun rises first.  The Vikings first landed here over 1000 years ago and is now home to some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.  You have to “kiss the cod” when in Newfoundland and it is an excellent place to visit an iceberg or see a whale.  It has amazing hiking trails and some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in the country.

A gorgeous Lighthouse in Nova Scotia.  Photo credit www.carp.ca

A gorgeous Lighthouse in Nova Scotia. Photo credit www.carp.ca

Nova Scotia is another of Canada’s Maritime Provinces located on the Atlantic Ocean.  It has numerous lakes and long beautiful coastlines and is a popular place to watch puffins and seals.  Also located on the Bay of Fundy, it is also a whale-watching destination and boasts some of the best seafood Canada has to offer.

 

Prince Edward Island is the smallest of Canada’s provinces and is located in the Gulf of St.

The beautiful Red Sand beaches of PEI.  Photo credit www.city-data.com

The beautiful Red Sand beaches of PEI. Photo credit www.city-data.com

Lawrence and is separated from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by the Northumberland Strait.  It has memorable red sand beaches, lighthouses and fertile farmland.  It has been nicknamed “Garden of the Gulf.”  It has over 90 sandy beaches making it an excellent summer vacation spot.

The beauty of the YUKON.  Photo credit  www.repmag.ca

The beauty of the YUKON. Photo credit www.repmag.ca

Part of Canada’s uniqueness is the Territories which lie to the far north.  The YUKON is located in the northwest corner of Canada’s mainland and  is wild, mountainous and is known for dog-sledding, salmon fishing and other outdoor adventure sports.  The territory is only home to a mere 36,000 strong, rugged Canadians.  The Arctic Circle crosses through the Yukon. The most amazing sight is the colourful northern lights that are often seen.

The Northwest Territories extends from the 60th parallel to the North Pole and includes

The Polar Bear, a habitant of NWT.  Photo credit www.canada.com

The Polar Bear, a habitant of NWT. Photo credit www.canada.com

several large islands located in the Atlantic Ocean.  Great Bear Lake, the 8th largest in the world and Great Slave Lake the deepest lake in Canada are both found in the NWT as is the Mackenzie River which is the longest in Canada.  The weather is severe but the scenery and wildlife is spectacular.

The Northern Lights phenomenon over Nunavut.  Photo credit www.arctickingdom.com

The Northern Light phenomenon over Nunavut. Photo credit www.arctickingdom.com

Nunavut is the largest (having 1/5th of the land in Canada), northernmost, newest (since 1999) and least populated territory in Canada.  It is made up of the mainland and many islands located in the Arctic Ocean, Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island are two of the largest islands.  Many areas of Nunavut are very isolated and residents hunt and fish for survival.  The soil is constantly frozen so fruits and vegetables need to be flown in but is known for fishing whitefish and arctic char and the wildlife is incredible.

“We have it all. We have great diversity of people, we have a wonderful land, and we have great possibilities. So all those things combined there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.  Bob Rae

It is difficult to put my PRIDE in this beautiful country into words.  I love CANADA!  I am a proud “POLITE” Canadian and I honestly believe that everything in Canada is GR-EH-T!  I love listening to fiddle music, chanting to “It’s Hockey Night Tonight”,  having toast and maple syrup, devouring a plate of poutine, eating a delicious Beaver Tail and topping it  off with a Tim Horton’s coffee!  All things Canadian make me proud!

I would like to leave you with this wonderful song that has been an anthem of sorts in my beautiful, small Canadian community; a song that emphasizes  how GR-EH-T Canada is!

Click the Flag to see the video for "SOMETHING to SING ABOUT" with The TRAVELLERS

Click the Flag to see the video for “SOMETHING to SING ABOUT” with The TRAVELLERS

 

Keep tuned in,

Theresa,  A PROUD CANADIAN

Written by: Theresa Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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