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.

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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!