Meet our Retreat Yourself West team!

July 12, 2011

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We introduced you to Danielle Wolff last week through her blog post on what to expect at a Retreat. We would like to take the opportunity to tell you a little more about the rest of the team you will meet at Edenvale:

Facilitators

Our facilitators work to make sure the program is followed, the needs of the Retreaters are met, and the discussions are productive. Feel free to ask them anything during the weekend, from when the meal is, to advice on an issue.

Karine Chalifour is YACC’s Program Director. She is a Social Worker by profession, but has been with YACC for more than two years now. She said, “I feel priviledged to play this role and to be able to connect face to face with survivors and supporters I have connected with via emails throughout the year. My passion relies on working with and for the young adult population and the Retreat feeds my passion fully.”

Mike Lang is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, amongst many other things. He was YACC’s Western Program Director until March 2011 when he embarked on a film tour of Wrong Way To Hope, a film he made with his wife, Bonnie (see below), about leading cancer survivors on an outdoor adventure expedition. He has been the participant and facilitator at many YACC events, and he is continuing to strive to identify ways to improve the lives of young adult cancer survivors. He’s friendly, compassionate, and always ready for an impromptu game of anything. You’ll have a great time together!

Bonnie Lang is just as magnetic as her husband, with her positive attitude, can-do spirit, and awareness about physical fitness that will inspire the biggest couch potato to get moving. When Mikey was diagnosed with cancer just a few months after they had gotten married, Bonnie had to adjust quickly to be a supporter when they were just settling in to their new life together. Bonnie has also attended many YACC events as a participant, peer supporter, and facilitator. She cares deeply about people and leads a mean workshop.

Jocelyn Brown is a Clinical Nurse Specialist: Palliative Care and Cancer Pain Clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, ON. This is Jocelyn’s first event with YACC, but she comes highly recommended by a very reliable source and has been involved with other cancer programs such as Camp Oochigeas. We are very excited to welcome Jocelyn to the team, and we hope she finds this weekend as inspiring as we do. She will be there to help facilitate group discussions, and assist with any medical issues we encounter at the Retreat.

Peers

Our peers are other cancer survivors who have a history with YACC and wanted to give back and share what they’ve learned throughout their own cancer experiences. They will be joining the facilitators in the small group discussions and workshops, and will be around all weekend to get to know you better.

Shannon Simpson is a Breast Cancer survivor, mother of twins, and great cancer advocate who is very involved with Callanish Society. She attended Retreat Yourself West 2010 and this is her first experience as a peer.

Mary Anne Brown is a Breast Cancer and BRCA2 survivor, and an alumnus from Retreat Yourself West 2009. She says she learned a lot from her cancer experience and we’re looking forward to having her share pieces of her story during her first experience as a peer. We are also excited to see how her artistic abilities may help out during the Retreat.

Jen Luce is a familiar face around YACC as a Retreat Yourself 2007 alumnus, peer for multiple Retreats since, and one of the survivors featured in Wrong Way To Hope. She has survived a rare from of Ovarian Cancer and has been involved with the young adult cancer world ever since. She is very creative and artistic, and you can read more about her on her blog, Turn Your Life Around.

Danielle Wolff is an alumnus from Retreat Yourself 2007 who is connected with YACC and Callanish. This is her second year as a peer. She is really down to earth and has a great sense of humour so we know she’s going to fit right in with this group!

Stacey Rosehill is our new Western Program Coordinator. This is her first Retreat Yourself experience, and her first YACC event in general! She is a recent graduate of the University of Calgary’s Communications Studies program and she has a lot of interesting experiences under her belt. We’re excited for her to get her feet wet with our programs in the Edenvale pool!

Everyone here at YACC feels privilged to be surrounded by these amazing individuals and I know you will feel the same way too.

Looking forward to meeting all you Retreaters!

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