Students inspire with 'good vibes' and 'sunshine'

 buttons and cards
A group of Grade 4 students at Toronto's Branksome Hall created a collection of inspirational buttons and cards in an attempt to make hospital a less lonely place for some patients.

A group of Grade 4 students at Branksome Hall school in Toronto is trying to make a hospital stay less lonely for some patients by creating a package of inspirational buttons and cards.

The project, which was inspired by a student concerned that some inpatients didn't have frequent visitors, saw her and her classmates make a collection of buttons and cards with inspirational quotes from various poets and ones they devised on their own. Their creations will be handed out to patients.

The student reasoned if the patients received inspirational quotes it might minimize their loneliness and bring hope.

"Good vibes only" and "When you can't find sunshine, be sunshine," are among the messages on the colourful cards and buttons, which the Grade 4 students have decided to make more of and sell at their school, with the proceeds being donated to the UHN Transplant Program.

The initiative, which became a class community project enthusiastically endorsed and vetted by Branksome's principal and teachers, also included a school assembly on how organ donation saves lives.

The Princess Margaret's walk or ride challenge for World Cancer Day surpasses goal

iding stationary bicycles
Mark MacDonald (second from right) took part in The Princess Margaret’s Walk or Ride challenge for World Cancer Day, raising funds and awareness. (Photo: ThePMCF)

Mark MacDonald was one of many cycling and walking enthusiasts who earlier this month worked up a sweat as part of The Princess Margaret's Walk or Ride challenge for World Cancer Day, a day where the whole world unites to raise funds and awareness for the cancer cause.

Riders were challenged to complete a combined distance of 200 km for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] spin-a-thon and Walkers 25 km for the Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] walk challenge at The Princess Margaret's Cancer Research Tower.

MacDonald, whose alter ego is "MacSweaty," hopped on a bike for the spin-a-thon and had already clocked 40 km by 9 am.

"I came out to show my support for everyone battling cancer, everyone who has been going through it, and the families who support them," says MacDonald.

After losing his mother Lynne to cancer in 2017, MacDonald decided to make a lifestyle change by getting off the couch and getting on a bike. He hadn't ridden a bike since he was a teenager – and admits he forgot how – but went on to take part in not only the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer from Toronto to Niagara Falls but events in Quebec and Alberta as well.

  • Read more about Mark's story [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available]

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