Volume 6 Week 27

Friday, Aug. 18


 

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The 4th Annual Orleans Online Outstanding Youth Awards recipients

 

Camille Juzwik , 18

Camille Juzwik is this year’s second Crystal Award recipient. In June, Camille graduated from Lester B. Pearson High School having attained the highest academic standing among high school students in the east end with a 98 per cent average. Earlier in the year she won a gold medal at the city high school wrestling championships which would have normally meant a trip to the OFSAA provincial championships, if not for the fact that Camille had other plans. She had already signed up for a school trip to the Dominican Republic where she did humanitarian work in a town just outside the capital city of Santo Domingo. Besides being a member of the school Global Outreach Club, Camille also helped found the school’s Expose anti-smoking program. For her exemplary achievements in the areas of academics, humanitarianism and sports, Camille Juzwik has been selected to receive this year’s Outstanding Youth Award’s Crystal Award.

 

Steffi Didomenicantonio , 17

Ten years from now, Steffi Didomenicantonio will be able to look back on 2006 as the year she got her first big break. Steffi D., as she become known to millions of Canadian Idol fans over the summer, has been performing on stage for years. When she first auditioned for the show last April, she was hoping to make it to the top 22 and earn an invitation to Hell Week in Toronto. She ended up making it all the way to the final five, becoming a favourite of the show’s three celebrity judges in the process. She became known for wearing large bows in her hair and her unique theatrical approach to such classics as the Rolling Stones “Miss You”. Steffi currently goes to De La Salle High School where she has been able to maintain a 90-plus average. Along with her partner Ben Durocher, Steffi is also an accomplished puppeteer. The two have performed at CHEO’s Teddy Bear Clinic and the Puppets Up! Festival in Almonte. Steffi’s dream is to go to The Julliard School in New York City and one day perform on Broadway. For her dedication to her craft and for constantly striving to do her best both artistically and academically, Steffi Didomenicantonio has been chosen as a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards Crystal Award.

 

Mikaela Nicholson , 11

In February 2006, 11-year-old Mikaela Nicholson found out that her father had a form of cancer called austiosarcoma. She immediately took it upon herself to make small kitchen magnets and sold them to her family and friends to raise money for cancer research. In September she organized a petting zoo in her back yard using her friends’ house pets. She collected donations and sold some of her fridge magnets and ended up raising $230. When combined with the pledges she received, Mikaela raised over $500 for the Terry Fox Run which she took part in with her six-year-old brother Austin and their father who completed the 10 km course with the aid of crutches. During the past nine months Mikaela has been a great help to her family by taking on extra responsibilities at home. Besides being an excellent student at Our Lady of Wisdom Elementary School, she is a trained dancer and takes voice and piano lessons. For her willingness to take on extra-responsibilities at a time of crisis Mikaela Nicholson has been selected as a recipient of one of this year’s Orleans Online Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Jessica Durepos, 17

Jessica Durepos est une étudiante à l’école secondaire catholique Garneau. Elle est membre du groupe Jeun'Espoir Jamaïque – groupe de l’année 2006. Elle fut une bénévole exemplaire et elle organisa plusieurs levées de fonds, s'impliqua dans les communications pour cette initiative et elle est devenu porte parole pour le groupe en parlant au divers média afin de promouvoir son groupe, leur but et leur mission. Elle a même écris la chanson thème du groupe. Une fois en Jamaïque, Jessica fut un travail exemplaire au près de la communauté auquel elle s’était engagé pour aider. Elle fut élément clé de cette expérience internationale. Dès son retour elle commença son propre groupe « Guerrier pour Anthony » afin de venir en aide a un jeune enfant affecté par un tumeur. Avec l’aide de Jessica et son groupe Anthony peu désormais recevoir l'aide médical qu’il a tant besoin et ce groupe continue à supporter Anthony dans ses démarches quotidiennes. Jessica Durepos est une volontaire exemplaire dans le domaine de la justice sociale, ceci est pourquoi qu’elle se trouve parmi ceux qui reçoivent cette année le Prix de Jeunesse Exceptionnel.

 

Andy Barber, Charlie Momy, Mark Stewart, Tyler Borris, Spencer Rodd, Daniel Kemp, Scott Adams, Eric Dodd, Nick Scott, Matthew Beliveau, Paden Shorey

Scott Barber, Charlie Momy, Mark Stewart, Tyler Borris, Spencer Rodd, Daniel Kemp, Scott Adams, Eric Dodd, Nick Scott, Matthew Beliveau and Paden Shorey are all members of the Orleans Rebels peewee fastball team that won the Ontario Provincial Championship this past summer. In league play they won 19 games and lost only twice. The two losses came during the opening weekend of the season and both were the second game of a double header. In the double knock-out provincial championships, the team had to come back from an opening 14-1 loss to Scarborough to make the finals. After turning the tables on Scarborough in the first game of the finals they found themselves down 6-1 in the gold medal game before battling back to win 9-7. After helping their team win the provincial championship, battery mates Scott Barber and Charlie Momy were invited to join the Newmarket Stingers at the Eastern Canadian Softball championships in Prince Edward Island where they helped the Stingers win the bronze medal. For their resiliency and hand work in winning the provincial championship and for their dedication to their sport, the Orleans Rebels have been selected to receive one of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Elaine Medina, 14

Since moving to Canada from the Philippines, Emily Medina has done her up.m.ost to become a model Canadian citizen. She has excelled in learning the English language to the point where her writing has been selected for publication by the Ottawa Independent Writers group. She also won an international Haiku writing competition for Neuroscience for Kids. A gifted artist who loves sculpting with clay and Japanese anime drawing, Emily also excels in her school work, especially in science and recently competed in the Toshiba Exploravision Competition for young inventors. Musically adept, she enjoys playing the flute in the Gloucester High School band. Away from her studies, she has thrown herself into a variety of volunteer efforts compiling over 50 hours helping others in the past year alone. She has volunteered at the Blackburn Fun Fair, the Rogers Television School Supplies Fundraiser, the Mayor’s Christmas Celebration, the Gingerbread House Fundraiser for Mothercraft and the Ottawa Food Bank. For her many hours of community service and volunteerism, Helen Medina has been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Gabrielle Felio, 14

Gabrielle Felio, est une jeune impliquée dans plusieurs domaines. Ces intérêts ne se limite pas. Elle est impliquée dans plusieurs domaines, tel que atout ce qui touche à la culture, science, sport, technologie et communication. Depuis les trois dernières années Gabrielle fut juge de créativité durant la semaine d’ingénierie du Conseil National de Recherche au Musée des Sciences et de la Technologie. Elle est impliquée dans des levées de fonds locales. Gabrielle est couramment en préparation pour son 7e niveau avec le Conservatoire Royale de Musique. Couramment étudiante à l'école secondaire Colonel By elle est aussi engagée dans sa communauté. En 2004 elle fut reconnue pour ses travaux à l’île Petrie dans le secteur de Conservation Écologique. Artiste en herbe, Gabrielle participas a une exposition d'art en mars 2006 et reçu une médaille d'or pour son tableau « le Nouvel Espoir ». Jeune écrivaine, elle a eu sept travaux publiés dans le livre « Trésors de Jeunes » et deux de ses poèmes fut publiés dans un livret appelé «Young Voices » par la Bibliothèque publique de Toronto. Élève impliqué, Jessica participe au Club de débats, céramique et de samba de son école. Ceci est pourquoi qu'elle se trouve parmi ceux qui reçoivent cette année le Prix de Jeunesse Exceptionnel.

 

Wilson Wong, 15

Wilson Wong is a multi-faceted young man. Besides being a gifted musician, the 15-year-old Grade 10 student is also a talented soccer and badminton player, an accomplished student and speaks four languages fluently – English, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. This past year he earned his Grade 7 with First Class Honours in piano and played trombone in the St. Peter High School Concert Band which won a silver medal at the Kiwanis Music Festival. Academically he received the top mark in Grade 9 English and was awarded the Certificate of Distinction for Grade 9 in the Pascal Mathematics Contest for the University of Waterloo. In his athletic pursuits, Wilson won a silver medal in mixed doubles at the National Capital Secondary School championships and made the Cumberland Cobras U15 regional soccer team. Last but not least, Wilson volunteered his time as a badminton coach, a soccer referee and scorekeeper and an assistant instructor at the Adventures Science and Engineering Summer Camp at the University of Ottawa. For his exemplary achievements in the areas of academics, music and sports, Wilson Wong has been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Brittany Miller , 14

Brittany Miller is a gifted artist with several accolades to her credit including two first place awards in mixed media and 3D art. She also enjoys sketching, photography, designing alternative underground fashion and making music videos. What is most remarkable about Brittany during the past year has been her perseverance as a student and volunteer. Going into her final semester she focused on improving her math skills and successfully improved her mark by 25 per cent through hard work and effort. Away from school, the 13-year-old Grade 9 student devoted more than 50 hours of her free time to a variety of causes and events. She participated in the Super Cities Walk for MS where her team won an award for community spirit, the International Children’s Festival and the Ottawa Storytellers Festival. This past summer Brittany volunteered with Power Within Inc., an event featuring former President Bill Clinton and cyclist Lance Armstrong. She quickly proved to be an excellent team member and took on responsibilities reserved for students 16 and older, demonstrating excellent problem solving skills and a level of a maturity beyond her years. For her many hours of community service and volunteerism, Brittany Miller has been selected to receive one of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awaards.

 

Sérina Constantineau-Booth, 9

Sérina Constantineau-Booth is an extraordinary nine-year-old girl. Eager to earn her Community Service badge for Brownies, she decided to organize an Angel Hair for Kids event last January at which she and 12 of her friends had their long hair cut off so that it could be used to make hair pieces for children who had lost their hair during cancer treatment. Besides donating their hair, the girls managed to raise over $3,100 using a fundraising program that she developed. The initiative was so successful that the Angel Hair for Kids organization has used Sérina’s package as a tool for others to organize similar events. Besides the “Share Your Hair” event, Sérina took part in three student fundraisers to benefit: the victims of Hurricane Katrina; the Heart and Stroke Foundation and The Terry Fox Run. She also ran in a school marathon to benefit various children’s charities such as Juvenile Diabetes and CHEO. Sérina is also an excellent student, having received two “Student of the Month” awards and a “Good Sport Award”. For her selflessness in wanting to help others and her commitment to community service, Sérina Constantineau-Booth has been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Segun Makinde , 16

In the spring of 2006, Segun Makinde burst onto the local track and field scene like few other young men have in recent memory. He dominated the midget boys 100 and 200 metre events at both the city and regional track and field meets and went on to win a bronze medal at the OFSAA provincial track and field championships competing against runners who were a year his senior. After he joined the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, he won gold in the 200 and bronze in the long jump at the Ontario Royal Canadian Legion Track and Field Championships. He then won three silver medals in the midget boys 100, 200 and long jump at the Ontario Track and Field Association’s Super Meet in Windsor which only served as a warm up to the Legion Nationals in a, British Columbia where he struck goald in the 15 and under 200 metre final and added to his silver collection in the 100. Away from the track, Segun earned excellent marks in his first year at Colonel By Secondary School where he is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program and plays drums in the junior concert band. For his incredible achievements on the track and his ability to balance athletics and academics, Segun Makinde had been selected to receive one of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Andrea Dark , 17

As an honour roll student and student council president at Cairine Wilson Secondary School last year, Andrea was a remarkable positive role model for her peers. She received an Ontario Principal’s Award and the Cairine Wilson Leadership Award for the numerous initiatives she undertook throughout the year such as helping to organize the school’s Team Relay for Life and helping to raise over $28,000 for cancer research. During her high school career, Andrea accumulated over 350 hours of volunteer work. She is a member of Ami Joni, a student led organization within the Ottawa Chapter of the Nelson Mandela’s Children's Fund. In 2005-2006, she helped adopt a sister school in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and was responsible for gathering and shipping 50kg of goods to the school. She was part of the team who initiated the Annual Youth Conference on Parliament Hill and was the master of ceremony at the first conference. Andrea also generously donated her time to the CHEO Telethon. She was an active volunteer at the Ottawa General Hospital this past summer and is an active member of the Navan United Church and has taught at the Navan Sunday School. For exhibiting tremendous leadership among her peers and commitment to her community through volunteerism, Andrea Dark is a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Andrew Both, 15

Andrew Both is the third member of his family to receive an Orleans Online Outstanding Youth Award. In July 2004 he helped his sister Katie organize the Charity Classic Golf Tournament first started by his older brother Brad in 2000 as a way to earn community service hours. In 2005, Andrew took over as event chairperson at the age of 14. Over the years the siblings have raised more than $100,000 for a variety of charities including Juvenile Diabetes. Over $40,000 of that amount has been raised under Andrew’s stewardship during the last two tournaments. Besides being an effective fundraiser, Andrew is an active athlete playing on the St. Peter Knights junior boy’s football and volleyball teams. He loves to goal tend in hockey and last year volunteered his time coaching younger players at goalie clinics. Andrew is also an excellent student achieving academic honours each year he has attended St. Peter’s. For his tireless efforts in helping to raise thousands of dollars for local charities, Andrew Both has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orleans Online Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Amber Asp-Chief, 11

Amber Asp-Chief is an extremely busy young lady. An excellent student, she received the Ontario Principal’s Award at Carson Grove Elementary School last year given to a student who demonstrates leadership skills, and strong academic standing. She served as a volunteer peer helper one day a week, treating her peers with the up.m.ost respect and dignity. During the noon hour she served as a Grade 5 lunch monitor and at dismissal time she was a bus monitor insuring the safe departure of the school’s JK/SK students. In May, Amber was the key organizer of the school’s first ever Aboriginal Awareness Assembly. She made arrangements to have six to eight fellow aboriginal people visit the school and perform for her fellow students. Amber not only organized the assembly she participated in it. This past summer she attended an aboriginal event in British Columbia where she raised $520. She also performed at various weekend pow-wow events in the Maniwaki area. When she was not dancing or singing she sold lemonade and strawberry drinks raising a another $480 for charity. For her initiative in raising funds and her zeal for sharing her aboriginal culture with her fellow students Amber Asp-Chief has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Ron Woodill , 16

Ron Woodill is a sergeant with the 632 Phoenix-Telesat Air Cadet Wing in Orleans where he is a drill instructor and teaches leadership skills and the trumpet. In the past year he successfully completed a number of leadership and instruction courses and received the Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Outstanding Dedication to the Air Cadets. He also received the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Young Canadians Challenge Award and came in first place in the Air Cadet’s Excalibur effective speaking competition. Outside of Cadets, Sgt. Woodill received the Grade 9 Science Achievement Award for attaining the highest mark in his class at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School. He is also an assistant instructor at the Elite Martial Arts School. His goal is to attain both his pilot’s and gliders licenses and rise to the rank of Warrant Officer First Class and Wing Commander of his Cadet Wing. For his dedication to the Cadet program and his willingness to pass along his knowledge to others, Ron Woodill has been selected to receive one of this year’s Orleans Online Outstanding Youth awards.

 

Nicolas Parent, 17

Depuis la 9e année Nicolas Parent est bénévole avec la Coalition Jeunesse Sierra. Qu'est ce qui a débuté comme un engagement pour compléter les 40 heures requis pour son diplôme secondaire est devenue un engagement a long terme pour Nicolas. Ayant contribuer au-delà de 600 heures a cette organisation. L’engagement de Nicolas ne se limite pas à une tache. Couramment Nicolas est membre du conseil exécutif de ce groupe et il a participé à deux conférences nationales. Au niveau scolaire Nicolas est impliqué dans plusieurs comités. Lorsqu’il était en 11e année il fut le représentant de sa classe au conseil étudiant et cette année il est le coa-président du cadre étudiant à l’école secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde. Son implication n’est pas limitée au conseil étudiant car Nicolas est aussi membre de plusieurs comités de son école tel que le club de débats parlementaires et le comité Amnesty international. Nicolas a aussi participé dans un programme d’enseignement des techniques de voile à Kingston. Sur le bateau « St. Lawrence II » il fut à la fois membre de l’équipage et fut éventuellement promu comme officier de bord et participas à l’éducation de ses membres d'équipages juniors. Pour son dévouement et bon travaille dans sa communauté, Nicolas Parent se trouve parmi ceux qui reçoivent cette année le Prix de Jeunesse Exceptionnel.

 

Zach Laroche, 17

The last year has not been an easy one for Zach Laroche. Last December he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure while playing hockey for the Cumberland Barons Minor Midget ‘AA’ team. When he arrived at the hospital, the doctors discovered a large taumour in the left side of his brain. After two lengthy surgeries they removed the mass and determined that it was benign. Almost as soon as Zach came to he decided he would do everything possible to play competitive hockey again. Within a month he was back on the ice skating with his father. As soon as he recovered enough to exercise he began hitting the gym three times a week with a personal trainer. Being drafted by the Cumberland Grads in the CJHL draft further fueled his determination. Two months later he attended the Grads training camp and by September he was practicing with the Barons Major Midget team. His dream of returning to competitive hockey was finally realized on October 26 when he played a regular shift against the Gloucester Rangers. For his dedication and perseverance in fulfilling his goal and for being an inspiration to others, Zach Laroche has been selected to receive an Outstanding Youth Award.

 

Mike Molinski , 17

Mike Molinski is a rare individual indeed. Not only is he a talented football and hockey player, but he is also a gifted singer having played a leading role in the annual musical production at St. Peter High School for the past three years and he’s made the school’s Honour Roll in each of the last four years. He was also selected to represent St. Pete’s at the Provincial Arts Leadership Camp. Mike has been a member of the Cumberland Panthers since he was nine. During that time he has won multiple MVP and Coach’s Awards and was recently named to the city all-star team. Mike is also committed to giving back to the sport he loves by volunteering his time as a coach and referee. Despite his demanding practice schedule, he has been able to maintain an 80 per cent average and has won numerous scholastic awards including the science award, choir award and drama award. For his sportsmanship, loyalty and dedication to be the best that he can be both on and off the field, Mike Molinski has been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Kevin Howe, 17

2006 was a very good year for Kevin Howe. The 17-year-old dancer earned a bevy of awards as a solo performer including the top mark among all competitors 15 and over at both the Montreal and Ottawa Candance competitions. He would make it three for three at the Ottawa regional American Dance Awards competition in Gatineau when he won the Male Dancer of the Year title after once again receiving the top overall mark. Kevin also had an extremely successful year competing as a duet with partner Isabelle Proulx. Together the pair earned the top two marks among the duets 13 and over at the regional ADA competition in Ottawa and they made the National Danceoff at the North American finals in New York City where Kevin was also named as the second runner up in the Senior Male Dancer of the Year competition. But that wasn’t his proudest achievement. His proudest achievement was getting the top overall mark in the jazz class competing against both male and female dancers. For his tireless dedication to his craft and his willingness to pass on his knowledge to young dancers, Kevin Howe has been selected as one of the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Isabelle Proulx , 16

Isabelle Proulx had an incredibly successful year. The Leeming Danceworks product and her partner Kevin Howe earned a trophy room full of accolades including the for duets 13 and over at both the Ottawa and Montreal Candance competitions. At the American Dance Awards regional competition in Ottawa Isabelle and Kevin earned the top two marks among all dancers 13 and over. Filled with confidence, the pair travelled to the ADA North American Championships in New York City in July where they managed to place both their routines in the National Dance-off, something that is almost unheard of. For her tireless dedication to crafy, Isabelle Proulx has been selected to receive one of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Ivanie Blondin , 16

Despite her young years, Ivanie Blondin has already compiled an impressive list of accomplishments. She holds a number of national short track speed skating records and was the youngest person to ever make the National Junior Team when she travelled to .In 2005/2006 she became the youngest person to be named to the Senior National Develop.m.ent Team. At the National Age Group Championships in Whitehorse, NWT in March she set a record in the junior girls 777 metre event on her way to winning the overall silver medal. Earlier in the year she won her fifth straight provincial championship and received the Kit Jarosz Award as the fastest female speed skater in Ontario. During the summer, Ivanie took up the competitive cycling for the first time. She proved to be a qick learner breaking a 10-year-old record at the Velodrome in London, Ontario while atttending a training camp. At the Nationals in Bromont, Quebec she managed to win a gold medal in the 5km scratch race, a silver medal in the 500 meters time trial, and two bronze medals for the 20km race and 2000 meters pursuit race. To cap it all off Ivanie was chosen to appear on the Quest for Gold lottery tickets alnog with several other up and coming amateur athletes. In her spare time Ivanie visits schools in Orleans and Rockland and talks to the students about the importance of balancing sports with school work and shares with them her speed skating experiences. For her achievements both on and off the ice Ivanie Blondin had been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Alyssa Long, 17

Like many young girls her age Alyssa Long is an incredibly busy person. This past summer she was a defender on the Ottawa Fury U16 team which finished in first place in the New England Division of the Super Y League with 11 wins and just three losses. She also played on the senior girls soccer team at Colonel By Secondary School which won the Quad-A city championship last June. Away from the soccer pitch, Alyssa is an ardent runner and is currently taking kickboxing lessons. academically she has managed to maintain an 85 per cent average in Colonel By’s International Baccalaureate program. Alyssa also volunteers her time to pass along her knowledge and enthusiasm to others. She co-coached the Cumberland United Soccer Club’s U7 House League girls’ team this past summer having attained her Level 1 and two community senior soccer coaching courses. She also volunteered at CHEO during the summer where she assists in the medical day unit as a child life volunteer. Alyssa enjoys working with the children on their arts and crafts, playing games and bakes with them as they are receiving treatments or waiting for their appointments. She is also a member of the Colonel By booster club and the athletic association and encourages her fellow students to become more athletic and participate in sports and fitness activities.

 

Brendon Lee , 9

At the young age of nine, Brendan has already made quite a name for himself. He has been involved in dance and gymnastics since he was six and has built up quite an impressive résumé in his young career. At this year’s provincial championships in Oakville, Brendan came away with a second and third place finish competing against much more experienced athletes. But it is on the dance floor where Brendan really excelled, winning the Young Male Dancer of the Year title at the American Dance Awards North American championships in New York City. In addition, Brendan maintained an A-average at Forest Valley Elementary School where he is always eager to volunteer his time to help his teachers and fellow students. He has been a reading buddy, lunch room monitor and milk distributor. Brendan has entertained at a local retirement home and brought smiles and fond memories to a group of retirees with his dance that was based on a Frank Sinatra tune. His next goal is to try and get his black belt in Tae Kwon-Do before he reaches high school. For his commitment to be the best he can be both on the dance floor and in the gym, Brendon Lee has been selected to receive one of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

 

Sarah Tranquilli-Doherty, 17

Sarah Tranquilli-Doherty is a very busy young woman. For the past three years she has made the Honour Roll at Colonel By Secondary School. She has been a “Buddy” in the City of Ottawa Integration Program, a Brownie Leader with Girl Guides of Canada, a coach with the Gloucester Soccer Association, and has volunteered at the Blackburn Hamlet Funfair. Last year, she was the school representative for Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving, a peer mentor in Colonel By’s Students Against Violence organization, the co-leader of the Amnesty International Club, a member of the United Cultures club, a member of the School Council and the Grade 11 representative on the Ontario Secondary School Student Association. This year she’s added student council co-chair to her resume and she’s the captain of the girls rugby team. Her involvement in a number of student leadership conferences added to the skills which she used over the summer, organizing Student council members to run fund raising activities and prepare for this Fall’s Leadership camp for 110 students and which was run under Sarah’s direction. Sarah also received her Leader in Training certification with the Gloucester Recreation Develop.m.ent Organization. For her ability to take part in a myriad of activities while meeting or exceeding exceptionally high standards, Sarah Tranquilli-Doherty has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Youth Award.


Dennis Gudbranson, 9


In April 2004, Dennis Gudbranson was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. After several months of chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission only to return a year later. His only chance was to undergo a bone marrow transplant, but first they had to find a matching donor. When one was found, Dennis began to prepare for the procedure which would require a series of intensive chemotherapy treatments designed to weaken his immune system so that his body would accept the new bone marrow. The treatments would make him sicker than he had ever been before. After the transplant, Dennis made an almost miraculous recovery. He ended up being sent home nearly a month ahead of schedule. The Gudbransons would have to deal with a series of minor complications after their son returned home, but for the most part Dennis was on the road to a full recovery. Last January, he started practicing with his old hockey team, the Blackburn Stingers, and by the summer he was able to go swimming for the first time in over a year. Cancer is an insipid disease that too often claims the lives of the youngest members of our society. But there are victories out there. Dennis Gudbranson is living proof of that. For his bravery and perseverance in dealing with his illness and for being an inspiration to others, Dennis Gudbranson has been selected to receive one of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.

If you have any questions or require more information call Fred Sherwin at 447-2829 or e-mail OYA@orleansonline.ca.

 

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Posted Jan. 12



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