Connexion Cancer is the brain child of one of our board members, in fact of our President Founder, Maude Woods-Lavoie. In 2006, at the age of 28, Maude was diagnosed with Leukemia and was hospitalised on and off over a period of 8 month, receiving chemotherapy and fighting on top of that some virus or bacteria she caught while her immune system was down. She found herself alone most of the time, watching television (at a cost of $58.00/week.) in her hospital room, and, daring to text her friends secretly from her bed, to feel some real contact with the outside world.
Here is what she has to say on that subject:
¨I remember going home after having spent a few weeks “Incarcerated” in my hospital room. I couldn’t wait to get on the computer and get a hold of my friends and family via email or chat and let them know how I was doing, but more importantly to find out how they were doing and what was going on with their lives. I was starving from the lack of contact I was having with the outside world. I also was looking forward to surf the net and find out more about what I was going through and learn more about the treatments and the side effects of the medicine I was being given and read about other patients that had gone through what I was going through at that moment. I felt that my stay at the hospital could have been better handled if I had had access to a computer with Internet access while I was there. It wouldn’t change the fact that the bed was uncomfortable and that the meals were still bland and boring, but it would have raised my spirit. Maybe with a better outlook the mattress would feel better and the food would be tastier....NAW!
So I went online and blogged on the subject. The topic was to bring laptops with Internet access to cancer patients on the cancer floor. I was hoping someone would read about it and take it upon them to start a fundraiser with that in mind....People gave positive comments about the idea but for some reason no one started anything. In January 2008 I realised I’d have to get organised and start something on my own.
After approaching the MGH about a donation to their 17th floor, which is where patients stay while receiving treatments for their cancer I raised some interest with other people that believed in what I was doing, and this is when Connexion Cancer was created. My goal was then and stll is to be able to offer this gift to all cancer wards across Canada, one by one, just so I can contribute a little extra something while these patients are receiving their treatment. ¨
A FISH IN A BOWL
¨Why you may ask? The idea came to me as it was my zodiac sign, and it was my signature when I would thank a friend that had helped me while I was receiving treatment. One day the image hit me. A little fish in a bowl, surrounded by people that are there to help, but the fish is still inaccessible, all alone in its bowl. This is exactly how I felt while I was being hospitalised. The patient is not really left alone to fight the disease and gets some support from family and friends that stay present through their struggle, but the patient still feels alone, fighting at a distance. Not everyone has the chance to take time off from other responsibilities to come visit at the hospital. Some are simply uncomfortable with Hospitals, others live too far. I therefore wanted then to provide these people with the chance to connect with the patient who is actually fighting for his or her life.¨