Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Blogging Group

If you look to the right margin you will notice that I have established a 'blogging group' which is representing the different areas of expertise within the house. Joan is a peer volunteer and she works every Friday night. The other bloggers are not real people...yet. It is my hope that we can get regular contributions that will share different perspectives from the people who work at the house. I have thought about it before but it was an email from Meyrick Jones (http://meyrickjones.blogspot.com/ ) that provided the impetus to actually do something about it. Thank you Meyrick!

I am hopeful that we will get a good response to the idea!

Monday, 26 January 2009


Hey everyone,

I'm Joan and I'm a peer volunteer at Canuck Place every Friday night; I get to spend every other shift with Malcolm, who has invited me to become a contributor to this blog! I am honoured.

Look forward to awesome posts by me - I will try to post after every shift. Actually, it might be a good plan that Malcolm and I post on alternate fridays - Malcolm after his shifts, and I after the shifts that Malcolm wasn't there for. yay!

Jen and Stel's Blog

Sebastian's mum Jen has been blogging for a while about their triumphs and setbacks as a growing family. Please find her blog here http://jenandstel.blogspot.com/

It is another perspective that puts faces to the lives, and deaths, of Canuck Place.
Thank you Jen.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Friday night at the House

After 6 weeks of not being the house it was nice to be back! Met my new Friday night partner Steve and Joan was, as always, here on Friday night. Joan has become the new Kyle the only difference being that she can't eat as much as Kyle could.
Dinner was awesome tonight!
There was a ton of people at dinner. One little boy, who I'll call Normie, had his whole family: aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and Grannie! The neat thing about this is that after dinner I went into the Playroom/tv room and they were ALL in there talking, playing table hockey...and there was tons of room. Little Normie was waiting patiently for the X-box to be set up...yes...even 3 year olds like to rock it out at times.

Normie is in a little makeshift comfy rolling chair. It is an old lounging chair that has been adapted into a wheel chair! Normie was so happy playing the drums...ok...holding the drum sticks! His mum and I tapped the right drums for him! Joan rocked on lead guitar.

All this time Steve was up on the Kid's floor snuggling with Mira. That was his job that tonight. He also had a bit of a nap. One of the perks you get when you are sitting in a comfy chair with a sleeping toddler. Mira's mum and dad (and little sister) are also in the house. Mum and Dad used Steve's high cuddle proficiency to get some time to watch a show on TV.

Corrine is a young teen with not much verbal communication. She is pretty good at one word missives and grunts and shakes of the head. I don't think she likes me!!! Joan was hanging with her in the school room and she was grooving (and singing) to videos. I started to talk to Corrine (in between videos) and she was getting upset. "no!", "bed!", "No!"...finally, "Do you want me to go away?"..."Yes!"

She and Joan continued to watch and sing with music videos....I scooted back to the other side of the room!

There were a couple other girls in the house. They were with their families too.
I think tonight, more than any other night, it struck me that the house is really a family house. Nobody in the house was without their family tonight. When kids are without their blood relatives there are awesome alternatives who get to step in.
I like being a part of this whole business!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


After this mornings post we received a note about Sebastian:

Dear Volunteers:
It's with great sadness that I share the news of Sebastian G. passing away
at 11:35 am this morning. It was very peaceful and Mom and Dad were there
with him.
Please take care of yourselves and each other.


Looking forward to getting to the house this Friday. It has been over a month! The morning of my last shift I woke up with my uvula hanging like a swollen speedbag that had been punched at all night. Called in sick. There are enough bugs out there that the kids don't need me bringing them directly to them.
I am looking forward to seeing Sebastian and his parents. They have been at the house for 6 weeks straight. Sebastian hasn't been feeling well since the last time I was there. He is a tough kid (aren't they all?) and the family even more so. They had the big old house all to themselves over christmas.

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!