When blessings hit you square between the eyes.
Yannick and I have three healthy, intelligent, amazing daughters. We too as children were healthy, all our cousins (and there are too many to list/count)were healthy kids, as are our nieces and nephews.
We’ve been blessed. In fact, we’ve won the life lottery, by being given the gift of good health. Out of all the kids that have been born into our family, one has looked cancer dead in the eyes, and kicked it’s ass. We’ve been fortunate to say the least; and to all of you reading this who know somebody who has lost a child, or if you’ve lost your own child, our prayers are with you. And although we will never know your pain, we’re hoping to assist in the fight any way we can.
Our journey to getting involved, in the beginning, had everything to do with gratitude. It is because of our young cousin that we began supporting Sick Kids Hospital, because, a) they’re totally amazing on every level and b) they saved her life!
Then along came Camp Ooch. We were introduced to them via our youngest daughter who chose them as her Philanthropic organization to volunteer for during her first year of high school. We looked into them, fell in love, and have never looked back. In fact, just yesterday I had a coffee meeting with Michelle to discuss the distressing fact that there isn’t enough money to cover all the kids who NEED CAMP OOCH. I had NO idea, and now that I do know that this is the case, Yannick and I will not sleep until we find a way to ensure that every kid will always get to go. You see, Camp Ooch has so many supporters that it’s no wonder, that I, like probably so many other people, simply assumed that Ooch doesn’t need any more help. That they have all the kids who are battling cancer covered with regards to getting them out to camp. As I learned yesterday, this is not the case. Therefore this needs to change; and trust me when I tell you that it will, we’re going to see to it that every kid who wants to go to Camp Ooch continues to be able to go. Their mandate is that no child gets told no, so now we need to find the money to ensure they can hold on to that statement.
Then we were invited as a guest to Childhood Cancer Canada’s The Purple Party 2011, by our dear sweet friend Arron Barberian. We were floored at the work this organization was doing. All on it’s own, with zero government backing. We were also moved to get involved. And man have we ever, we co-chair every Purple Party, happily and gratefully, and now I sit on the Scholarship Committee, which let me tell you, helping to decide who gets what, when watching videos of young adults sharing theirs stories, makes one wish they had ownership to the pot of gold so that every survivor could have a scholarship, and every kid could go to camp. But so far that’s not what’s happening, so we press on, working hard to secure the funds needed to help these kids deal with life while they fight cancer, or to move far, far away from it once they’ve kicked it’s ass.
Recently, and this took years to have it actually work out due to schedules, we attended the Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) event during TIFF. This year the stars aligned and we were able to go. To say we received an education about what kids, teens are dealing with in Haiti, is an understatement. We’ve always known that good education is the backbone to a strong future, but we didn’t really understand that there are kids who don’t even get the choice. We had to get involved, and so we did. We’re proud to say that we’re now invested in helping make a difference in the lives of these kids.
I mean, it’s wrong, kids should be able to go to high school, and camp, and shouldn’t get cancer. I’ve posted about it before, they don’t drink, smoke, eat processed foods, so like what gives? And until they figure out what actually does give, neither Yannick or I will stop helping make life better for those who are bravely fighting the fight. And until we live in a world where all teenage kids can get up every single morning to complain about having to get up so early to go to school, or tell their friends that they hate homework, we’ll assist APJ in making sure their school in Haiti never has to say no to a teen who wants to learn.
Because, as corny as it sounds, Whitney wasn’t wrong when she said: “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…”
If we don’t support kids with our pocket books then honestly, then what are we here for
Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…