Daffodil Month over, but fight against cancer goes on

“Sixty years ago, it was Lady Eaton whose family owned Eaton’s department store. She started to do some fundraising lunches or fundraising teas and she used daffodils to decorate them. It basically became the symbol for the month and then the symbol on our logo for the Canadian Cancer Society,” Patricia McLaughlin said.

Sandra Shamas smiling

Climbing menopause mountain with Sandra Shamas

Comedic writer Sandra Shamas’s journey through menopause was a lonely and isolating experience.

In vintage Shamas style, though, she’s made it a little less lonely and isolating for the rest of us — and a heck of a lot funnier — with her latest show, The Big What Now, which ended a successful run in Toronto earlier this year and is now ready to hit the road.

Putting a face on voicelessness

It’s the holiday season and the homeless shelter at Yonge and Sheppard is eerily empty. The majority of the women and girls who usually populate the YWCA have left to join their families. Except for Elisheva Passarello. She walks the halls by herself once again; it has been five years since she has seen her son, let alone spent a holiday with him.

“What was hard was homeless people often have someone; I had no one, not even my own son,” Passarello said. “What’s more difficult was that he didn’t have me.”

Amy Moledzky and John Rutledge with daughter Ava

Family learns to cope with post-natal depression

John Rutledge felt overwhelmed. He had experienced the sleepless nights, changing diapers, finding that one bit of furniture not yet “child-proof.” After his daughter Ava was born, Rutledge became even more stressed and anxious, to a point where he knew something wasn’t right.

“We were in the doctor’s office and it felt like I was in free fall,” Rutledge said.

Coping with stress calls on a variety of approaches

It happens at every exam time. He comes home with a pounding headache, plenty of anxiety and pressure on his shoulders.

Studying in the health and sciences program at the University of Toronto, is especially stressful. For Alex Singh, there is only one answer to his stress.

“I make my way into the kitchen, grab a shot glass and pour in some … vodka,” Singh said. “The shots temporarily take me away from my reality.”

Veterinary technician learns to cope with trauma of job

As a professional, Heidi Snutch had seen it all. After years of working in her field, almost nothing surprised her. Then, on a day like any other, a man rushed in with his dog.  He had been doing some yard work at his home, he explained, when one of the branches he was cutting fell on one of his two cocker spaniels. 

“The dog had severe head trauma and was given a very poor prognosis by our critical-care specialist,” Snutch recalled.

The man, who had lost his wife to cancer that same year, begged Snutch to save his beloved pet. With little hope for recovery and lack of financial means, the man brought his other dog in, so they could say goodbye together. 

“I tried to hold back my emotions but failed miserably. I was emotionally drained for the rest of my shift,” she said.  “I couldn’t sleep at night because I kept replaying this instance over and over in my head.”

Freshman Philip Buque takes skills on ice outside the box

Philip and Alex Buque grew up playing hockey in the winter, lacrosse in the summer.

Alex played varsity and is now a superstar goalie in the National Lacrosse League; now, younger brother Philip is taking his shot with the Saint Leo University Lions.