Saturday, 26 April 2008

Time goes quickly...

At the house I don't think I have ever had a shift drag...I am always surprised that the shift is over. This is not to say that we have endless amounts of fun and energy to do amazing things all of the time...but for me time at the house passes quickly.

Normally when the evening shift begins we go and round up the kids from the afternoon shift volunteers who are usually bringing them down to dinner or to the kids floor. I went upstairs to check in with the nurses on the kids floor and then up to the classroom where a I found Shannah and Corrine. It appeared that Corrine did not want to make her way down to dinner as she was fully involved in a computer game about Tigger finding hunney for Winnie the Pooh.
I ran down and picked up a plate of dinner and made my way uptairs.
The game is called Tigger's Hunny Hunt and was actually a fun game. I was needed to help Tigger fly by using the space bar. Corrine did all of the rest and we ended up being a pretty great team!

Also in the house tonight were Jaxson and Galen. Jaxson can be seen putting the boots to Roberto Luongo in this video:

Jaxson and Luongo

There were also a few siblings and parents in the house and everyone seemed pretty happy and calm. It has been a tough couple of weeks at the house with a couple kids passing on. The house is built for this and always looks after the things that need looking after.
Here is a bit of an email from our volunteer coordinator Leanne Freeman quoting Filomena:

On a final note, we have had another busy week here at Canuck Place. In
the words of the Canuck Place CEO Filomena Nalewajek - “ This week we
witnessed the "symphony" that silently embraces that care and resonates at
decibels beyond our ability to simply hear. Staff quietly lending a hand,
without being asked; instinctively knowing what is needed: volunteers
helping staff engaging children in play so they would not witness the raw
pain of parents saying goodbye to their lifeless child; staff there to
support and hold together parents in pain, whatever it took to
respond,give,care. The harmony was there, and in that very sad music was
a sense that the world goes on.”

This house is beautiful.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Looking forward to getting to the house Friday

It gives me something to write about! Time at the house is far more interesting than my less than stellar efforts at training. In my two week holiday from school I had great aspirations of doing more running. I have have done that a little, but only with thanks to my wife who has taken me to Kitsilano Community Centre Gym and I ran on the treadmill. I did manage to knock off 17 km in my four visits!
I attempted to blog my training last year for the Kelowna Apple Triathlon
as I had challenged a couple of friends to join me in the tri...they both bailed. Here is that blog.

I believe training has 2 simple components:
      • It must become a habit forming practice
      • Your point of reference for personal fitness is the point where you began (not what you used to weigh in college)

Sunday, 20 April 2008


I have been 96kg for the last 5 years, I think. Every time I workout at the gym I weigh myself and I am always 96 kg. I think I would like to be 90 kg, which may be a a bit of a pipe dream so maybe I can accept 92kg...but a man can dream.

Exercising is hard...ok the exercising habit is hard...and when you are not in the habit of exercising, exercising is hard. stay tuned.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Saturday Make-up

The girls were in for a treat on Saturday as they were given the spa treatment. They were also having their hair, makeup, and nails done. My wife Cindy did their makeup. Maggie, who is in grade five, was doing her own makeup for dinner when I came in on Friday. By Saturday she was in the doghouse with her mum and had had taken her makeup AWAY. Cindy came with goody bags of makeup for each of the Maggie was back in the game. The girls faces were painted and Cindy said they were all happy and pretty.

Oh...and the girls was a Pyjama party and chick flick night. Neither of us (me, Tony, Kyle) brought our PJ's and it appeared that the girls had everything under control with other girl volunteers who were brought in as ringers for the night.
I guess it was a no boy zone for the night...girls...sigh.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Girls are not like boys

The teen girls at the house are very different from the boys. If there is anything that the girls are able to do...they will do it themselves. The boys will have you do it for them!
In the house this week are four girls for the girls teen weekend. There is Maggie, McKenna, Kirsten, and Juliana.

There is also Conner. Conner is a 3 year old boy from the Interior who is in the house (and Children's) as they try and figure what is happening with his tummy. He is having difficulty digesting any food he receives. Right now he gets ALL of his nourishment by way of intravenous lipids and proteins. I got to sit with Conner and we watched the hockey game. Some of the discomfort Conner is feeling is due to him swallowing a lot of air and his stomach is filling up with it. Every ten minutes or so he becomes really uncomfortable and the nurse will "depressurise" him by sucking out the air through his tummy tube with a syringe--anywhere between 100 to 200 cc of air each time. He also farts! When I sat down with him tucking his legs up with one hand and supporting him from underneath with the other he let one rip as a way of introduction.
Conner's mum, dad, and sister are all in the house and have been in town for a number of weeks. He also has a brother who is staying closer to home and being looked after by somebody else. His sister can do her school work while she is here. There is a full time teacher that looks after the kids and their siblings while they are away from home.
Conner's dad came by to sit with him. We all watched the hockey game and talked a little. Dad said some nice things about what we do as volunteers and how important we important the house everybody that needs the help. The house isn't just for the kids. It is for the kids and their whole families. Parents get a break from doing all the work that is needed to keep their children comfortable, or for that matter, alive. When they are at the house they can concentrate on simply loving their babies, or taking a break.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Girls weekend out.

Every once in a while the house holds a teen weekend for the kids who are teens. They are all in the house for the weekend and spend a lot of time together doing activities...going discussions...and playing. I think this is the first girls weekend out in a couple of years.

This weekend there are going to be five girls hanging out.
I am really happy that my wife and step daughter will be helping out on Saturday.
One of the activities is doing makeup. Cindy is a professional makeup artist and is taking her kits to the house and taking goody bags of makeup for the girls. She will doll up the girls for the night and teach those who can do their own makeup some tips on how to do a beautiful makeup and to take care of their skin.

I will be there on Friday night...I wonder what will be in store for us!

The Blog

My name is Malcolm and I was a volunteer at Canuck Place Children's Hospice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for nearly seven years. Now I support them by raising money by participating in the Canuck Place Adventure Challenges!

I said hospice. Not really a word that you associate with children but there you go. We will tell you about the house as this blog progresses with the hope that you will learn, and as you learn we hope that you will share. The purpose of the Adventure Challenge is to raise money for AND awareness about Canuck Place.

The name of each kid at the house you read about has been changed.

September 14th and 15th are the dates for the next Adventure Challenges.

You can sponsor me for the race here: Adventure Challenge
Maybe you should do the race?


Just a quick note about the names of the kids in the house that you will read about: they are made up!