Category Archives: Health

Travis Gerrits: “There’s so much more to an individual than their diagnosis”



When it comes to highs and lows, Travis Gerrits is something of an expert. One of the top freestyle skiers in Canada, he is also part of a rising tide in sports: athletes using their platform to raise awareness about mental health. For Gerrits, the issue took on greater significance after being diagnosed with bipolar … Continue reading Travis Gerrits: “There’s so much more to an individual than their diagnosis”


One List, One Life: “We’ve got to enjoy every little [moment] we’ve got”



What would you do if you found out you had a year left to live? Since September of 2017, Chris Betancourt has been facing that question in earnest. The Carmichael, California-based 20-year-old had just started his first year of college, intent on becoming a police officer, when he got the news: His cancer — chronic … Continue reading One List, One Life: “We’ve got to enjoy every little [moment] we’ve got”


Keagan Girdlestone: “My chance to live was pretty much zero”



They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle. South Africa’s Keagan Girdlestone is living proof. At 19 years of age in 2016, the Pretoria native was rising fast in the world of cycling, already the youngest ever champion in the history of New Zealand’s Le Race, and a former under-16 national champion in … Continue reading Keagan Girdlestone: “My chance to live was pretty much zero”


Joe Roberts: “[My experience with] homelessness is the greatest asset I have”



Ask Joe Roberts about the worst part of homelessness, and he’ll tell you it’s not the cold or the rain. It’s the isolation. “You’re seeing a world going on around you, but you’re not actually part of that world,” he says. “[You feel] invisible as you’re sitting on the sidewalk and people are walking by, … Continue reading Joe Roberts: “[My experience with] homelessness is the greatest asset I have”


Sean Stephenson: “Your interpretation is what matters in life”



Sean Stephenson has made a career out of making lemonade. When the Chicago native was born, doctors predicted he would not survive more than 24 hours because of a rare bone disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta. “My bones are more fragile than most people, and because of that […] sneezing could break ribs, or putting on a … Continue reading Sean Stephenson: “Your interpretation is what matters in life”


Searching for Sero: “You can’t buy happiness; you need to go find it”



Home for John Rathwell and Tracy Guenard is a pretty small space these days: since May of 2016, the Gatineau, Quebec couple has been crisscrossing Canada and the United States in a newly-polished 1991 Volkswagen Westfalia, meeting people and sharing their stories of pursuing happiness. “It’s a beautiful van,” says Guenard. “It’s small — 15 … Continue reading Searching for Sero: “You can’t buy happiness; you need to go find it”


Richard Holmes: “What you can’t see is often more important than what you are able to”



At 17, Richard Holmes had everything he had wanted: a successful career as a mountain biker; a life in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia; sponsors wanting to endorse him. Despite the accolades, he had one other thing that was tearing at his confidence and progressively worsening in the process: a stutter. “My speech was definitely the … Continue reading Richard Holmes: “What you can’t see is often more important than what you are able to”


Charlie Engle: “I would never want to lose the addict part of me, because it’s all the best parts of me”



Charlie Engle is not like most people. For one thing, he’s run across the Sahara Desert — a feat that turned into a documentary narrated by none other than Matt Damon. He’s “summited ice-covered volcanoes, swam with crocodiles, and served a stint in federal prison.” Making the North Carolina-based writer and ultramarathon runner’s story even … Continue reading Charlie Engle: “I would never want to lose the addict part of me, because it’s all the best parts of me”


Shelagh Rogers: “We need to support each other in our suffering”



Shelagh Rogers has built a legacy in Canadian radio on the strength of bringing people together. From the CBC’s Morningside, to Sounds Like Canada, to This Morning and The Next Chapter, the Ottawa-born broadcaster’s inimitable warmth, kindness, and curiosity have made loyal listeners across the country. With a voice heard by over a million Canadians, … Continue reading Shelagh Rogers: “We need to support each other in our suffering”


Robin Mazumder: “I’m really curious about how living in a city impacts your mental health”



What if urban planners started viewing themselves as part of a community’s health care team? That’s what Robin Mazumder, a Vanier Scholar and doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, would like to see. Mazumder, a former occupational therapist, started researching the psychological impacts of urban design after working in the mental … Continue reading Robin Mazumder: “I’m really curious about how living in a city impacts your mental health”