Monday, April 12, 2010

Cards4Cancer Day - finally here!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed cards to Cards4Cancer Day. We collected 86 cards for CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) and 116 cards for OHCC (Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre).

I dropped the OHCC cards off with Diane Manii, Clinical Manager of the Psychosocial Oncology Program. Some of the support the program provides are: speech-language pathology, nutrition counseling, social work, psychiatry, psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, exercise rehabilitation, geriatric oncology and access to the patient and family library.

I’ve known Diane since 1998, when she led the support group I joined when I was first diagnosed. She has seen many changes and improvements since then, including a modern and spacious chemotherapy centre in the new wing of the cancer centre.

I also met with Marie Belanger, Media Relations and Events Specialist at CHEO. Marie was happy to hear about the guidelines established by SpritJump (e.g. no religious content, stored in a smoke-free area, etc.). That made it much easier for them to accept and distribute the cards. They plan to put them on the food trays. The children's cards were filled with drawings, stickers, pictures of pets and cheery messages.

While I was waiting for Marie in the lobby, I met Dorothy (on the right above) who was delivering bags of teddy bears made by her mother, Peggy Williams. To-date, they have made and delivered over 5,000 teddy bears to CHEO for distribution to the patients there.

What I'm grateful for today: Unsung heroes who are making a difference in our community: people like Dorothy, Peggy, and all of the people who contributed to Cards4Cancer day. Also, a huge shout out to the wonderful staff at the Ottawa Cancer Centre for the care they show while doing a difficult job. In particular, I'm grateful for the good relationship I have with my oncologist, Stan Gertler. (OK, I admit, I've had a platonic crush on him for years!)

The prodigal son returns in: 27 days

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