Saturday, 1 May 2010

What a cool night. Just what the doctor ordered. Having been told my job has been cut to .875 full time for next year I found myself chomping at the bit to get to the house. As I have said before hanging out at the house can be rejuvenating and also very grounding.

Tonight Steve, Amanda and Joan were all in to volunteer and we had Willa, who is a new addition to the house, Denise with her mum and grandma, Carter in with his mum dad, brother and sister, and a little boy named Kyler who had his mum, dad, and big sister with him and last but not least, Sadie who was there with her mum A full house.

Canuck Place is way more than a children's hospice. It is a family home.

I got to sit beside Denise and Willa at dinner. I helped Willa to get food on her spoon when she needed the help. Nurse Marg was helping Sadie.
After dinner we mosied up to the art room to hangout, colour, toss a ball around (something that Sadie loves to play).
Both Sadie and Willa are nonverbal. Sometimes communication is such a challenge. Eyes and facial expressions make up a lot of the communication process. Willa could speak a little but it is a struggle for her to form the words and it is especially difficult to decipher what is being said. I took a shine to Willa right away. She is an absolutely beautiful 13 year old with long dark hair and stunning eyes. I kept having to apooligise for not understanding the words she was trying to form. We did ok together, but I could tell how frustrating it is for her to try and speak without being understood. She reminded me of K-Dogg (who has left the program now that he is 19). Willa would grin at all of my stupid jokes like K-Dogg did.

At one point Sadie had a seizure...something she is prone to do. The seizures range from just zoning out to full muscular contractions of her body. I noticed the seizure and got mums attention. I held Sadie's hands and mum was at her head talking quietly to her. The seizure lasted about 90 seconds and then Sadie came back.

A little later we met Axel. He had just come in from the Island to stay for the weekend. He is over to play power soccer with a Vancouver team. We had a quick chat and then it was time to go.

After saying goodnight to everyone I realised what a good night it was.
I left the house happy.

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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!