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“This award will have a tremendous impact on my educational pursuits. My personal goal is to graduate with a diploma in PR and eventually with a degree in PR and Communications.
I hope to work for a not-for-profit as it’s been a goal of mine ever since my cancer journey. Seeing what people who work at these organizations can accomplish has driven me to give back to all those who have inspired, helped and supported me along the way.”
Brandon Pearsell (Whitby, ON)
Pursuing a diploma in Motive Power Technician – Service & Management
Diagnosed with medulloblastoma at the age of 4
Generously funded by the Shayam Kaushal Foundation in Memory of Khaldoun Ayoub
“It’s been a long time since I first discovered what I wanted to do with my life. My mom left her job to take care of me, and my parents had to use the money saved for my schooling for expenses during my treatments.
With this award, I will be able to finally live my dream. This award will help me move forward in my life.”
Janica Pickard (Fredericton, NB)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at the age of 14
Generously funded by Selectpath Benefits and Financial
“Being diagnosed with a brain tumour has had a huge impact on my life, and my journey has been filled with ups and downs. But what has helped me through is a quote by Viviane Green: ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ This generous award will help me continue ‘dancing’ into university life with pride, confidence and determination. It means that some of the financial burden is lifted and I can focus on my dream. It means that others believe in me and that my diagnosis will not stand in the way. Being granted this award will simply be the big umbrella that will stop the storms from taking my dreams away!”
Generously funded by Ann Underhill and Dee Pauletig
“Being a cancer survivor has really affected me in many profound ways. I have learned to focus on what’s important in life – helping others – as well as living life to the fullest every day.
This award will reduce my stress throughout university, so I can focus on my learning instead of school debt. I am very excited to make my own way in the world and continuing to make it a better place throughout my life.”
Danielle Swant (Cobden, ON)
Pursuing a diploma in Practical Nursing
Diagnosed with a PNET brain tumour at the age of 2
Generously funded in memory of Dorothy Hughes
“Although I was very young [when diagnosed], the memories are very vivid and I continue, still today, to have many health and learning challenges as a direct result of the treatments.
As a brain tumour survivor, this award means the world to me. It will give me the chance to give back to the profession that impacted and improved my life so much – pediatric nursing. I really believe that it is the support we receive while on our journey that eases the struggles we as childhood cancer survivors face.”
2014 - 2015 Awardees
Kyle Hoogstra (London, ON)
Pursuing a diploma in Culinary Skills Chef Training
Generously funded in memory of Jeff Davie
Diagnosed with an ependymoma at 16 years old
"I believe my brain tumour had a positive effect on the future of my life, without this experience I wouldn't have been even slightly interested in a post-secondary education. Throughout my entire experience with cancer I always looked forward to tomorrow with a sense of optimism, knowing that with a little perseverance I could overcome this juncture in my life. Though the road I have travelled to get to this point has not been the easiest, I would not want it any other way.
Receiving this award confirms that I am headed in the right direction, and allows me to achieve my goal of becoming a chef without any of the financial burden that accompanies a college education. I am so grateful for all of my life experiences, the negative and the positive as they have shown me life is a roller coaster and you must enjoy every second because before you know it the ride is over and all you have is the memories.
I want to thank you for you efforts...it is because of people like you that the lives of those at their darkest moments are brightened. "
Maxime Hurtubise (Orleans, ON)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering
Diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma at 11 years old, with recurrence at 15
“When I look back at my life, I see a young child fighting for his health and succeeding in overcoming major obstacles. Radiation, chemotherapy and two invasive brain surgeries have made my journey more challenging than for the average teenager. Missing a few years of hockey and soccer because of my condition was heartbreaking, but getting back to playing triggered great motivation in me and helped me not only in life but mostly in school, where good grades opened the doors to engineering studies. Despite hurdles along the way, I’ve realized that working hard pays off in all aspects of life and I know I’ll keep thriving for success, hoping one day to be employed in an industry related to medicine because I’ve always wanted to contribute to the advancement of medical discoveries.
Emily Keenan (Orleans, ON)
Pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences
Generously funded by the Ultragiving Foundation in memory of James Vreugdenhill
Diagnosed with a dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial (DNET) tumour at 14 years old.
"Since the diagnosis my life has been quite the roller coaster ride. I have traveled to multiple cities, saw many doctors, and learned way more about the medical field and myself as a person, than I could have ever imagined. One of the hardest parts of my journey thus far was recovering from surgery in 2013. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by my family and friends the entire time, which enabled me to keep a positive and optimistic mind set. In the end, things always have a way of working themselves out, everything happens for a reason.
I am extremely proud and fortunate to have received this award. Throughout my journey I have been intrigued and curious to receive a better understanding of the unanswered questions that accompany complicated medical cases. Thanks to this generous award I will be that much closer to receiving the education I need to be able to fulfill my dream."
Maggie Smith-Salzl (Delta, BC)
Bachelor of Arts- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at 11 years old
“I remember the day I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It changed everything for me and my family. The portrait of my life has been complicated with countless visits to the hospital, multiple major surgeries and three years of chemo and radiation. It was hard for me to feel normal and I lost touch with my friends because of my time away from school. Through my journey, I always felt supported by my family; I couldn’t have made it through without them. The silver lining has been the wonderful people I have met: nurses and doctors who were always in good spirits and my friends at camp. Finally, I have learned about myself, what I am capable of and now I know I can deal with whatever life throws my way. I have always loved to write and in the past year I have found that I enjoy reading. Neil Gaiman is my favourite author and one day, I hope to be somebody’s favourite too. This award will allow me to follow my dream. “
Stephanie Streich (Calgary, AB)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Elementary Education
Generously funded by Rigatoni for Research, London, ON
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at 3 years old
"My journey as a brain tumor survivor defines who I am today. Although my first surgery occurred more than twenty years ago, there is not a week that goes by where I do not think about my medical history. The scar on the back of my head is a constant reminder that I have undergone a scary time in my life that no child, parent or person can imagine happening to them. Notwithstanding the struggle I battle with everyday activities as a result of my surgeries, my scar also symbolizes the strength and motivation it takes to overcome such difficulties.
I have struggled in all aspects of my life due to the repercussions of my brain tumor and will continue to face obstacles. However, the hard work that I have put into my endeavors is the reason for all of my successes. Not only will this scholarship help finance my last year of my after-degree in Elementary Education, it will acknowledge my to-date successes and provide moral support for the future."
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