Help make a difference

By the time you read this column, the cross-district bike ride for the “Together We Can” fundraising campaign to replace the mammography machine at La Verendrye Hospital here will have been completed.
But the campaign to raise funds for the new machine only will have been kicked off. Just as previous campaigns to modernize the hospitals in the district, and bring a CT Scanner here, took many months, this campaign still requires the financial support of everyone in the district.
This Sunday, the annual Terry Fox Run will take place in Fort Frances. The Terry Fox Foundation, through the runs, has raised more than $600 million for cancer research world-wide.
Locally, the run has raised several hundred thousand dollars. Take time this Sunday to participate.
And the CIBC “Run for the Cure,” part of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30. Locally, the employees of the CIBC are co-ordinating the activities.
Since 1986, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has allocated $274 million towards breast cancer research, health promotion, advocacy, education, and awareness programs.
Then as we wander into October, the international “Pink Ribbon” month gets underway.
Every campaign helps raise awareness of that particular disease—and the hopes of people to eliminate or cure it. Whether it is the Heart and Stroke campaign in February, the CNIB’s Vision Health month in May, or prostrate cancer awareness month in “Movember,” all these campaigns are focused on better outcomes for Canadians.
Each of these diseases not only impact those who have them, but also the families of those individuals. They also have an impact on the economies of our communities.
I had never given much thought about the economics of the community until Doug Anderson of Betty’s pointed out the losses business see when an elderly person has a fall and breaks a bone. As he pointed out, the injury is disabling and that reduces their ability to shop in stores and often carry on their favourite hobby.
The fall and subsequent injury reduces their independence, and the need to rely on friends or family to get them about worries them.
The “Together We Can” campaign will provide better mammography care in that the digital images can be sent off to radiologists, who quickly can let local doctors know what is being seen in the images and help them make a quicker diagnosis.
Previously, the film had to be sent away by courier, read, and the results were returned by e-mail. Everything now can take place quicker.
The Terry Fox Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and Prostrate Cancer Canada all are providing needed dollars for research into these respective diseases. The energy and resources being applied by scientists across Canada, and around the world, have made great advances in successfully treating many cancers.
So if you can, please make a donation to the “Together We Can” campaign, walk, jog, or run in the “Terry Fox Run” or the “Run for the Cure,” or don a blue ribbon and grow a moustache in November.
It may make a difference to you, a friend, or a family member.

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Help make a difference

Dear editor:
“No violence against children is justifiable; all violence against children is preventable.”
These powerful words were penned in August, 2006 by an independent reviewer who was commissioned by the United Nations to study the state of child rights and specifically looked at violence against children.
These words need to be repeated across the land and beyond.
The tragedy last month in Virginia is a painful reminder of how much work we have to do in this country, Canada, and beyond. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all the victims and survivors. And we realize we are all affected in some way when we hear the stories of heroism, support, and loss.
As we come to terms with the magnitude of this tragedy, we must remain focused on the future and what we can do better in Canada. Whatever tools we give our children and youth as they grow determines the path they will walk.
This aforementioned UN report advocates for some clear actions our Canadian government can take to ensure children grow up healthy, resilient, and able to contribute to their society.
One of the recommendations is to highlight the protective factors, such as stable family units, strong attachment bonds between parents and children, positive non-violent discipline, school-wide policies and effective curricula that support the development of non-violent and non-discriminatory attitudes and behaviours, high levels of social cohesion, and supportive relationships with healthy peers.
Another recommendation is to have prevention education at all school levels. Children and youth spend much of their time at school in Canada. We are fortunate to have universal education through to university entrance.
This is a prime learning opportunity.
A third and important policy recommendation is to strengthen our efforts to combat cyber-bullying and Internet sexual exploitation. A single Internet offender or predator can impact thousands of youth.
We can all make this difference. Pick one thing that you can do to make our country safer for our children and youth. Take a course, really listen to a child or youth in your life, volunteer with a community program.
Our kids depend on it.
Visit www.redcross.ca/respected for more ideas.
(Signed),
Daphne Diagnault
and Don McDonald
RespectED: Violence
and Abuse Services
Dryden, Ont.