Saturday, 27 September 2008

Finally..a night at the house has been a long time...I think. I was all by my lonesome as far as volunteers go (Tony sprained his ankle and Jen is naming limpets after Tony and I in Bamfield), but certainly not alone in the house. In the house tonight were a handful of kids...Grenadine (I know...bad name...) and her mum, sister and brother from the island, Stephen's , mum and dad, brother and sister (Brady and Insia), Jerrold and Eliza.
Dinner was awesome. Meat. I love meat.
AFter dinner I went with Stephen's brother to the Sun room. Rock band was calling our name. With Isaac and Ophelia in tow Brady and I kicked Rock Band proverbial butt for three songs. Brady kept choosing the most difficult songs. I really do sing better when I know the words.
I had promised Ophelia and Isaac that I would read them a story so I went to find them. They were upstairs with mum.
Ophelia was painting in the art room. I helped set Isaac up for a paint. Elsa was with us as well. Isaac found a broom after he painted and it looked suspiciously close to a NIMBUS 2000 so I taught him how to fly on a broom.
After our time in the art room we went next door to the Schoolroom. I was bound and determined to read tonight...and we did. I haven't read a John Burmingham book for so long and we read Would You Rather... and a bunch of others. I miss reading to kids. I am so glad I got to tonight. Isaac's mum came to take him for a bath and I kept reading to his sister and Insia then it was
Ophelia's turn for a bath. Insia's mum came and took her away for bed. I mosied down to the kids floor and found Eliza watching The Aristocats. I hung out with her for a while. Jerrold joined us ...he must have woken up from a nap. It was time for some of his meds so I helped the nurse. I helped keep Jerrold kind of upright while he was being "steamed" a cortizone steroid to help his lungs. ELiza got quite anxious when The Aristocrats ended. One of the nurses put the next movie. I think Eliza has watched thousands of movies!
My night ended and I quietly said goodbye to those who were still awake and around.

There are times when you feel that life is tough and you feel crappy. I am so lucky to share part of my time here. It makes me feel better. I hope that a little bit of what I feel rubs off on those I am with.

Thursday, 25 September 2008



1 metre ahead of me is a rock.
Thank goodness these are plastic.

I have never had so much fun on a bike.

I have had better runs.

Final  Bib                             Final        Kayak        Bike       After Bike      Run         Final

Place No. Name of Competitor Pos Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos Time Pos Time Team Name

1 861 Mark Coates 1 3:28:25 3 49:15 4 1:36:58 2 2:26:13 4 1:02:13 1 3:28:25 Team mc bah
2 860 Billy Adams 2 3:28:25 4 49:16 3 1:36:56 1 2:26:12 5 1:02:14 2 3:28:25 Team mc bah
3 864 Nicole Akeroyd 3 4:27:30 20 59:32 7 2:29:30 9 3:29:01 3 58:29 3 4:27:30
4 865 Malcolm Chrystal 4 4:34:31 19 59:22 5 2:17:30 3 3:16:52 8 1:17:40 4 4:34:31

From 23rd to 4th! See what riding to work can do for you? Next year I vow to run a bit for training!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

death is hard to understand

I have been at Canuck Place for about 4 years. Many of the house's kids have died in that time. Some I have known a little and some I have never met, but no matter who it is, they are somebody's baby girl, big brother, little sister, or grandchild. As a volunteer we are informed of when a child at the house dies. Recently there were two little boys who passed away with whom I was able to share a night holding, cuddling, and singing songs that I can't remember the lyrics to. When I read of their deaths there is just that little bit more familiarity, a clearer face to put a name to, and a little more sadness. It pales in comparison to what a family member feels.

On Sunday, my wife lost her little bother. Very suddenly and very unexpectantly. He is also an uncle, a son, a husband.

I have never experienced the death of anyone close to me. What I am feeling I am not able to express well. As I watch my family deal with the death of Chad it is clear to me I have no comprehension of what they are feeling.
I can see what they have lost: I have shaken his hand, hugged him, laughed at his corny humour, and danced his silly clotheswasher dance, but I don't know what it is like to lose someone who has alwasy been a part of your life, or you theirs.

When we hear of a death at the house it is from Leanne. She always signs off by saying "take care of yourselves, and each other"
Do that. Always.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Race Day Over $201 000 Raised

What a day! Absolutely freakin' fantastic! Calm waters, cool bike, and the run was ok too. Cramping legs for me and a number of others today!

I get to introduce to you the 'Adventure Cam'.

Images of the bike trails from a very deftly mounted camera atop the handle bars of "The Bike".

This year I think I have an idea of how I did compared to all these young, agile, and superfit individuals in the race. Last year I had know idea what happened and was very surprised when I won the 'Solo Mens' category. This year 'The Bike' was a tool of absolute precision and awesomeness. Thank you to Leslie and her guys at Dizzy Cycles who did some things to 'The Bike' for $90 and made it run like a $150 bike and made all the difference in the world. Mercer...I will get you the $90...soon!
If my oxygen and electrolyte depleted body figures correctly: 2 young guys completed this years race way under 4hrs as a team. In third place there is Nicole who is a Thursday Night family volunteer at the house (so she wins the Women's Solo), and then me who represents the Friday night family volunteer shift (and I win the Men's Solo!). The house was well represented on the podium!!

Leah from North Shore Orthodpedic massaged my legs after the race....and she kept telling me I was "damaged". The massage helped to get the post race gunk out of my achy legs but that I needed way more massage therapy....damaged....sigh....

I raised over a thousand dollars this year again. Next year I hope that I can do even better in raising funds. There were 3 or 4 racers who raised over $8000. Top fund raiser did over $11 000.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who helped in sponsoring a competitor this year.

The House is an magical place where the kids are the magicians. The staff and volunteers get to be assistants in a wonderful show.

Ps If you missed doing a donation before the race it appears the sponsor page is still open (!!!).

More Adventure Cam:

Friday, 5 September 2008

thank you

thank you to absolutely everyone who has donated.
today i received an veritable flurry of donations. my sister in law barb, my principal russ klein, and mr bob murphy! No offense intended....but who is bob?!!!!

bed time!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

apology to kyle

I teach science, not English.
Everybody should be like Kyle because he did NOT forget to sponsor me before he left for Med School. It just came out funny below!
Sponsor me.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

one week before the race

Less than a week before the sure to be eventful Adventure Challenge. Get on the bandwagon and sponsor me here:


Your heart, the kids, your tax credit and I thank you!

The race is at Panorama Cove in Deep Cove on Saturday morning.
Training? I need to thank my most awesome wife Cindy for getting me to the pool everyday this week, otherwise I would have done absolutely nothing. I know there is no swimming unless I tip the kayak but stranger things could happen!

Don't forget to sponsor Kyle...peer volunteer extraordinaire who has left BC to become a doctor. Rumour has it that he will specialise in pediatric oncology. Every kid in the future will benefit from him going down this path. Kick Alberta behind Kyle.

Monday, 1 September 2008

A quiet night at the house

There was no Garage Band tonight! Pretty quiet at the house as they are gearing up for the annual shutdown and renovations. The Kid's Floor (aka Nurse's Station & Main floor) is getting a makeover for a little more room. It can get pretty tight in the alcove when there are more than 2 or 3 kids that need, or want, to stay close to the best nurses on this earth.

In the house tonight were Carol, Nichole, and Gaston (where do I get some of these names?) who represented the older kids, Richie and Mathew are about 2 and under. Mathew is full of beans and doesn't stop for much despite having a ticker that holds him back. Mathew's dad is in the house for a bit and this is the part that makes Canuck Place so awesome. It will be the first time that they are leaving Mathew in the house by himself. He and his wife are hoofing it out of town for the weeked for a little relaxtaion. Not an easy thing to do when you have never left your child for a night, but that is what the house can do for families.

After dinner Joan and I took Carole, Nichole, and Mathew outside to the playground. Gaston's sister Leyla joins us after finishing her book. A little bit of hockey, and little bit of ball, a little bit of spinning on the merry-go-round. It sounds a little strange to say that your are playing hockey with a couple of girls who are in wheelchairs, non-verbal, and have limited or no use of there hands but sometimes you can catch a glimpse of something in their eyes that tells you they are playing too.
One by one the kids are rescued from us by a nurse. Joan, Leyla and I are left with Nichole outside. I have a great idea! There is this strange sit down contraption that you can move with little tiny wheels that rotate independently. Very difficult to use. I challenge the girls to a race around the house! Joan is up first and finishes in a painfully slow 6m 15s. I dominate and complete the course in 2:45 (or was it 3:45?). Leyla kicks Joan's butt and finishes in 4:30.

The last hour of the night I got to sit with Richie. First, while he had to wear a 'vapouriser' that steams in meds for him to inhale and then while he got his dinner (via his tummytube). It came as an awful shock to me that I have forgotten the words to almost every song I used to sing to my own kids as I struggled to put together enough Stompin' Tom Conners songs to keep me singing along. Sometimes just sitting with the little ones is my favourite time.

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!