2022 Volunteer of Distinction Award – Visale Balarajah
SUPERKIDS Committee Member
1. How did you start volunteering with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada?
I started volunteering with the Foundation in 2017 for the Brampton Walk in honour of my best friend Shreya’s mother. We created a club at our high school called Project X to recruit volunteers for the walk and spread awareness about brain tumours among the youth. A few years later, I joined the SuperKids committee with BTFC. We create resources for teachers and parents to use when teaching children about brain tumours, which aligns with my career aspirations in Pediatrics. I continue to be involved in the Brampton Walk committee.
2. What is your fondest memory of volunteering with us?
My fondest memory must be my first Brain Tumour Walk. Our Project X volunteers were set up around the walking pathway to cheer on participants and be part of the warmup committee and kid’s zone. I still remember being fascinated by the number of people who attended the event and the interactions with the participants, which spoke volumes about the impact and outreach that the foundation has on the community. Many of my friends joined to volunteer and cheer walkers around the premises of the walk with hype music and streamers, letting out their inner cheerleaders. It was a fantastic experience and a great way to kick off summer and start our journey with BTFC.
3. This year’s theme for volunteer week is how volunteering weaves us together and connects us. What does this theme mean to you? (You can see more HERE)
To me, volunteering is the key to bridging the knowledge gaps in society, allowing us to seek and provide support to others through multiple forms. In addition, volunteerism brings together communities across boundaries to share their knowledge and break stigmas and stereotypes. With the internet, miscommunication and social media playing a significant role in our lives in this age and time, this support is much needed and can reach people anywhere.
4. What’s the best advice you have given or someone has given you?
Tomorrow is inexistent—live life to the fullest and in the present moment. Do what you love, and don’t put things off for tomorrow.