Saturday, 10 May 2008

Girls Weekend ...again...just say no to boys

Imagine how surprised I was as I rode up the driveway to see the same teen group of girls that ignored me last month in the driveway tonight. There they were, Maggie, McKenna, Kirsten, and Juliana, and Hanna. I didn't meet Hanna last month because she got sick and went home. Tonight she was going home AGAIN but for a most awesome reason; she is flying to Orlando, Florida to go swim with the dolphins.

Earlier in the day the girls had a visit from Steven Seagal, and his 'protectors' who apparently patrolled the perimeter of the building the whole time he was there. I also heard he was protected from entering in the Wrap the Toilet Paper around a Person contest that was taking place as part of some serious pre-Olympic competitions.

After dinner I learned that the girls were setting up to watch "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants"--chick flick if there ever was--but they seemed 'ok' with Kyle and I hanging out with them but I think that was a little reverse psychology. Someone had the sense to call in a ringer family volunteer for these Girls Night Outs, Karen, who probably does way more for the girls than us boys.

Kyle and I went up to the Kid's floor to hang out with some of the other kids: Sangeeta and Hardeep, a brother and sister team, and Matthew a precocious little 3 year old. Sangeeta and Hardeep are both non-verbal, but hardly non-communicative. Their eyes, faces, and squeals express so much it is absolutely amazing. Sangeeta is absolutely smitten by Matthew. He will come and hold her hard .She just beams. If he walks away and she can't see him she turns her head, willing her chair to turn with her so she can see where he went.
We watched a little bit of The Wiggles: toot, toot, chugga, chugga, big red car....went outside to the garden to play and then came back inside for bed.
There is another boy in the house, Micheal, who is new to the house since April. Micheal has Kawasaki Disease, and if I understand the disease correctly, Kawasaki Disease can lead to heart problems. Micheal suffered a cardiac arrest which has caused some serious brain damage. Kyle was in his room and was looking at all of his pictures of him playing hockey from this year.
There are all types of kids that come to the house. Some are born with life limiting diseases or complications, some have genetic diseases that develop as a person grows, and some end up there out of the blue; a bad event that changes the path so quickly it can make your head spin. Regardless of the journey to the house, for everyone that comes in, whether family or child, there is always hope. Micheal's first admission was an 'end of life stay'. That was last month and they are talking about taking him home, Hanna told me she wanted to be a teacher when she grows up. I have been at the house and met four graduates of the program. There is always a future for these kids and many times that future includes leaving the house alive.

I never did get to hang with the girls again. They seemed happy watching the movie with Karen so Kyle and I left. The girls will be back in June. I can tell they are warming up to us and our time will come.

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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!