Youth of Canada values previous generations.
This page recognizes and appreciates inspirational stories of Canada's families and their previous generations. Generations will not let great stories and pieces of history be forgotten. Send in your story of a grandparent, aunt, uncle, parent, or rolemodel, here!
"JIM'S MAIN MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH OF CANADA IS TO STAY WITH YOUR COMMITMENT, AND NEVER LET GO OF FAITH."
A love like Jim and his wife’s is truly one of a kind. Jim describes her as a determined, versatile, independent, skilled, and hard-working. She is also described as a loving and caring mother, grandmother and best friend. Jim and his wife met through a friend, whom they call Cupid, and the couple seemed to have clicked automatically. The day that he asked her out in the June of 1960, his life would be forever changed. Jim is not the only one who loved her from the start. After introducing her to his parents, on their way out of the house, Jim’s Father blocked him before he exited the door. He shook his hand firmly and said, “let this one slip through your fingers and I’ll break every bone in your body.” This, to Jim, was his Father’s seal of approval.
The couple married in 1963 and have been married for 56 years. Jim describes their marriage as the “best marriage on this planet” with great commitment to each other and to their family. He and his wife were always able to discuss anything with one another, and she always stood by him through all of the busy nights at work and corporate travel. She was a great Mom, a loving and caring grandmother and Jim’s best friend, and together, their teamwork and compatibility made them “two peas in a pod.” They really were a match made in heaven. A love like theirs is rare, and their commitment to one another was even more emphasized when Jim’s wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Jim was in denial at first about the dementia and Alzheimer’s, until one day it became real for him.
One February when Jim arrived home, there was fresh fallen snow all around his property. He noticed, on his way inside, footprints, and so he decided to follow up them all the way up the road where he found his wife wandering near the road. He did not know how far she would have gone if he had not found her. For the past three years, she has been in wonderful long term care, while Jim resides at a residence 20 minutes away and has a chance to visit her once a week.
Every visit with her tears him apart to see her deterioration, but his commitment is uncanny, and he finds comfort in the fact that there is a great nurses and care workers looking after her. How else does he cope? Jim says that he gets through it in faith, a wonderful companion, and makes sure to keep busy as much as he can with various activities. He is thankful for what he has and sees himself as blessed in many ways, including the blessing of his children. Jim’s main message to the youth of Canada is stay with your commitment, and never ever let go of faith.
"WE HAVE PEACE, IS THERE ANYTHING MORE WE COULD ASK FOR?" - IBRAHIM'S STORY
Hey Youth of Canada! My name is Yasmine, and I’m from the Northwest Territories. The picture you see here is of me and my dad, who inspires me a whole lot. He’s a doctor, so he’s always saving lives and helping others, but he is also the most genuine person I know.
My dad immigrated from Iraq to Canada in February 1997, to seek a better life away from upcoming wars. Another reason was because my big sister Dana, 6 months old at the time, was already with my mom in an apartment in North York. Immigration to Canada is very difficult now, but it was even more challenging for him. Doctors in Iraq were not allowed to leave the country- it was forbidden by law. This is one of the many rules in that area, with another rule requiring men to join the army after they finish their higher education for up to 3 years before leaving. My dad was First Lieutenant in the Iraqi Army, and was a military doctor there. He decided to immigrate shortly after serving his time in the military. Iraqi passports stated your job; in order for him to leave the country he had to change his job on his passport from a doctor to a merchant. And so, his journey began.
The first step of immigration was to go to Jordan by bus, and then take a plane to Canada. My dad was pretty well known as a military officer and a doctor, so he was worried someone would notice him. The bus ride was a very uncomfortable and frightening experience for him, he was scared the whole time that he would get in trouble. They were about to cross the border into Jordan when, despite his job on his passport, a police officer stopped my dad and asked him if he was a doctor. As said, before, doctors couldn’t leave Iraq, but the penalty was even worse for military doctors. If he had been caught, he would’ve been sent to jail and most likely suffer the death penalty. Knowing this, I can imagine my dad felt very scared after hearing this question. He bribed the police officer with a large amount of money, for him to let my dad pass the border even though he was breaking the law, and luckily, it worked.
After arriving to Jordan, he took the plane to Canada and lived in the apartment with my mom, sister, and grandparents in North York. The next step was to be qualified as a doctor in Ontario. To do this my parents had to work in more rural areas. My family moved to Whitehorse, Yukon, then my dad brought my sister back to North York with my grandparents and worked in Newfoundland. During this time my mom (also a doctor) continued to work in Whitehorse. After this was done they began to work in a place called Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories. And this place continues to hold a special place in my heart, because it's where I was born in 2003!! Although my sister went to school there and might have some memory of Inuvik, I unfortunately don’t have any memories of life up north, because we moved to Toronto very shortly after I was born. However, that doesn’t stop me from telling people about it :) I have a lot of pride about where I’m from, and I feel like it is a part of who I am. I wouldn’t be Yasmine if I wasn’t born in Inuvik. Someday I hope to go back there and visit, maybe if I become a doctor one day I can work there just like my parents!
Fast forwarding today in 2018, we are pretty much living the dream. My dad has a clinic in Oshawa, my mom has a clinic in Stouffville, and they are both very well loved by their patients. I get to have opportunities my parents never would have had; I am a figure skater and compete in competitions across Ontario, I take music lessons, and I go to a private school where I receive so many educational opportunities. Not to mention my neighbour, also the daughter of immigrant parents is my best friend! Our parents are very close with each other, and this friendship plays a big part in our family’s life. We have the necessities of living, and we have peace, is there anything more we could ask for?? We all have our ups and downs, and our stressful moments, but I am glad I get to experience them in Canada. There is no other country I would rather be in, and this is all thanks to my parents, and the journey they had to take to get here.
My dad risked his life for his family and a good future, and the risk definitely paid off. My parents currently sponsor people in Iraq and Jordan, because they want them to come to Canada and experience the life we get to have today. Throughout this entire journey, my dad has remained a smart, selfless, funny, and kind man. He is who I aspire to be when I’m older. He deserves everything he has achieved, and I am so proud to be his daughter!
- Yasmine Abossi, 14
"CANCER MAKES YOU REALIZE THAT LIFE IS VERY PRECIOUS AND SHORT…" - SARAH'S STORY
Youth of Canada had the great opportunity to get in touch with Sarah O'Regan - a cancer fighter and inspiration. Through our interview with her, she shared her inspiring story.
Introduce yourself! Who are you, a little about you, what do you enjoy?
My name is Sarah O'Regan. I was born in Belleville Ontario, and I lived there until I left for university at 18 years old. I attended The University of Western Ontario, and hold a degree in Kinesiology. I have lived in Vancouver and Toronto for all of my post University life, and spent 13 years il the consumer packaged goods industry before joining the pharmaceutical industry. I have been proudly married to my husband Jake for 14 years, and we have 3 amazing children, Bailey (age 12), Ridley (age 10) and Max (age 8). We also have 2 golden retrievers, Ellie and Zoey. I love to run, and workout 5 mornings a week (run 3 times and swim 2). I was on the Canadian Triathlon team in my early 20's, and while I no longer compete in triathlon, I raced my first marathon last fall and qualified for Boston
When were you diagnosed with cancer and how did you come emotionally? Other thee physicians, who were instrumental in helping you cope?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was surreal. I was in the peak of my training for triathlon, and I was excelling in my career. I was 23 years old, and didn't even know what breast cancer was when they told me I was diagnosed. I was rushed into surgery, and put on chemotherapy right away. What got me through it all was my incredible family and friends. My girlfriends from Toronto (I was living in Vancouver at the time), would take turns flying out to see me on weekends which was amazing. They also started a party in Toronto for me called the Boobyball. We have raised over 4 million dollars towards breast cancer, and it's still a huge turnkey even today in many cities across Canada. (https://boobyball.rethinkbreastcancer.com/reg/en/index.html)
How was cancer made an impact in your life, and how have you, through toughness and spirit, shown cancer that you can live your best life?
Cancer makes you realize that life is very precious and short . . . and you only have one chance to make the most of it. It's also made me never take for granted the little things that mean the most, and the important friendships, family and above all your health!
Do you have any advice to young people in Canada battling through cancer right now?
Embrace the support, and feel the love from friends and family who want to help you through this. Believe in the incredible medications that while they may make you feel awful for a shirt timeframe, it will be worth it in the long run.
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