Published on 106.9’s website on March 14, 2016
Rachel Wright is a happy kid. When you look at her, there’s no way you can spot something wrong, but she was born with a defect in her heart.
Her left ventricle wasn’t working. She had to have an open heart surgery to get it fix, and even if the outcome were good, she would still be going on a life-long journey of doctor’s appointments and procedures.
Lisa Wright, Rachel’s mom, explained “Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the heart. It could be many many things. So far there are about 40 named defects, but there’s more that haven’t been named.”
The statistic is shocking for this defects. One of every hundred births will be affected by CHD making it the number one birth defect.
Even with this stats, Wright couldn’t find someone to talk about CHD. So, she took it on herself to be an advocate.
“My daughter is 10-years old now, and at the moment she was diagnosed I couldn’t find someone to talk about it. In my search, I came across the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance and eventually took steps to open a chapter for London and area,” said Wright.
When she created the space, people such as Elisa Petrenko showed up with her daughter Cordelia, who was born with her main arteries switched.
The truth is that these kids will have to undergo a life of many visits to the doctor, and simple procedures might have to be done in the O.R because things like a gums infection can lead to a heart infection but, that doesn’t mean they can make it something better for the kids.
One example is the Heart hero cape, “An organization personalizes these capes for each child and sends them for free. It kind of boosts their morale and makes them feel like they are part of a special club. A heart kids club,” said Petrenko.
Another thing is bravery beads. “Every time they go to the doctor and have a procedure done, they get a bravery bead,” said Wright.
Congenital heart defects are invisible. A high percentage of the kids will have open heart surgeries or will be on many medications but, thanks to the evolving field of cardiology kids can live a long, ‘normal’ life, making the forecast a bit brighter for this heart kids.
Published on 106.9 The X on October 03, 2015
The London Poverty Research Centre at King’s University College hosted a conference called, “The Future of Work: Poverty Reduction In London.”
There they announced the launch of all the data they, and their partners, have gathered about poverty and unemployment; and also sparked the conversation about poverty in London.
The LPRC also took the opportunity to announce the completion of their data for public access, and a new research study in London about the growth of precarious work.
Sue Wilson, one of the board members at the London Poverty Research Centre in London, had a short interview with us about poverty, and why they created a research center and much more:
The conference had two speakers: Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; and Mike Moffat, assistant professor of business, economics, and public policy at Ivey and chief economist at the Mowat Centre.
They spoke about how jobs are the easiest way out of poverty, but how full-time employment is no longer available to everyone.
Dr. Moffat started his part of the conference saying we need to have two breadwinners with full-time jobs in a household to be part of the middle class.
Moffat pointed out:
Yalnizyan brought forward more details on how poverty is a responsibility of society and not a few small individuals.
Yalnizyan says, “There’s poverty that people struggle with when they can’t work, there is poverty that people struggle with when they can find a job, and there is poverty that people struggle with when they do have a job. So this has many different problems that we face.”
Yalnizyan center her talked on:
The London Cycle Link and London’s Cross Cultural Learner Centre joined forces to get people around in the community in a safe, affordable and healthy way.
‘Bikes for Newcomers’ is a project where people can donate their bicycles for people that just got to the city.
The London Cycle Link, as a cycling advocacy group, is trying to share the goodness of riding a bike while helping the Cross Cultural Learner Centre in their efforts to make newcomers feel welcome and part of the community.
Paul Seale is a volunteer for this project and says it benefits everyone. ‘We know people is arriving from overseas without all their possessions,” said Seale, ‘The things that we can help with is getting a bike. We also know that people’s basements, garages, sheds are full of bike that nobody is using right now and we’ll love to give them to someone that needs it.”
Seale says there are many benefits to bicycles and in a way, they help to build the community.
“We think that riding a bike is a great way for everyone to get around.” Seale commented, “It’s and accessible form of transportation, environmentally friendly, and because you ride around the city in human scale, it’s quick enough to get to places but is also slow enough so you can meet your neighbors on the way and found out what else is on the way.”
Sealed says everyone is proud to be in a city that has such a growing Syrian refugee population and an excellent destination for newcomers and wants to help for everyone to have a chance to experience the city and their neighborhoods.
You can find out more information at the London Cycle Link’s website.
Published on 106.9 The X on March 21, 2016. Edited for typos.
Easter is a beautiful time. But, it’s not so nice for the rabbits purchased as Easter presents.
Kaylie MacIntosh is the president of Hoppy Hearts Rabbit Rescue, the only rabbit rescue on the city. They see a considerable increase in the number of stray rabbits in town after Easter.
“If you go to Kijiji you will see tons of people trying to re-home the bunnies because maybe they need to move away to attend school, the kids lost interest, or maybe they realized that these cute little bunnies are more of a commitment than what they were expecting them to be,” said MacIntosh.
One of the main things is how people overlook the challenges of having a rabbit. “You will have to find a rabbit-savvy veterinarian and maybe going to another city for it since there’s very few in the area. Rabbits are considered exotic, so their vet bills tend to be a bit higher than a dog or a cat,” continued MacIntosh, “A bunny’s diet consists of fresh vegetables every day, and that can get quite expensive. Also, they go through a bag of hay every couple weeks.”
This and the fact that some rabbits will live over 18 years are things we need to research before deciding to get a bunny.
Hoppy Hearts Rabbit Rescue, as a rescue without shelter, depends on the kindness of our community in the way of donations or people fostering the rabbits.
“Sometimes we struggle with both, and is heartbreaking when we have to turn bunnies away,” said MacIntosh.
In aims to create awareness about the issues of pet rabbits and irresponsible pet ownership, Hoppy Hearts Rabbit Rescue set up the little bunny Pebbles to be their face for their Easter campaign. Get to know his story in the video below.