ROXSTR

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  Even as Makrina Morozowski says she is not much of a “barbequer,” she proves – as she does – that she is.  Photo by Janaia Hutzal April 15, 2018.

By the end of our two-hour dinner at the all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurant, Makrina Morozowski, 26, surpassed all expectations of “athlete.”  But, “rock star,” or as her licence plate says, ROXSTR, would also be an accurate description.  From repelling, twice, down the side of a Calgary high rise as an ambassador for Easter Seals, to her notable sense of humour, to her commitment to eating three more pieces of sushi on a full stomach, just to save her new friend from having to pay an extra four dollars, Morozowski has every trait of a true champion.

“If there’s a piece of inspiration, I hope you use it,” says Morozowski.

The first official activity Morozowski tried was skiing when she was three.  Her father, Doug, taught her – even before she received the diagnosis.  After many visits to doctors searching for answers as to why her physical development was delayed and why she ran with a gait, a neurologist held up her four-year-old body and told her parents their daughter has cerebral palsy. Continue reading “ROXSTR”

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Improvement

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Second-year SAIT Business student, J. C. Fernandez, says that volunteering offers the obvious benefit of giving to others, but through this he also receives.

Fernandez, 19, hopes his degree will help him learn to market himself in his own future business endeavours. Getting involved helps build confidence as well as a network.

“Before I was nervous talking to people, I’m an introvert. If I want to learn to market myself I have to be open to people,” explains Fernandez. Continue reading “Improvement”

FEARLESS

From Elected to Member

Lisa Davis
Ready to create a clear path for students.  Lisa Davis at the Calgary Board of Education 1221 8 St. S.W. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Davis is being sworn in as Calgary Public School Trustee of Wards 6 and 7 by Associate Chief Justice Honourable J.D. Rooke.  (Photo by Janaia Hutzal)

The swearing in of Calgary’s newly elected school board trustees was held at the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) Centre on Oct. 27, with one of the new members being Lisa Davis.

Davis was elected trustee of Wards 6 and 7 on Oct. 16, and one month later she is ready to begin “creating a clear path for students to move forward.”

“I am ready to address some of the issues and concerns we have heard very clearly from parents,” says Davis. “For me, that’s going to be the focus moving forward.” Continue reading “FEARLESS”

SURVIVOR: Part Two

Reid Skogen’s Journey of Heart and Soul Continues 

After the ventricular assist device (VAD) was inserted into Reid Skogen’s heart, and then he suffered a stroke, his gruelling rehabilitation began at the Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital.

The breathing tube came out ever so slowly, because they did not know if he could breathe on his own. As everyone in the room held their own breath, Reid Skogen took his first one.

“He was basically starting over. It was like watching an infant,” says his mother, Cindy Skogen.

Every time there was a positive break-through, it seemed there was a sadness to go along with it.

Cindy Skogen was able to go behind her son and held him for the first time in over a week. When she had to let go, Reid Skogen cried. They knew there was emotion.

When they were finally able to leave the unit for the first time, Reid Skogen smiled. According to Cindy Skogen it was joyful, but also “eye opening” because he realized how damaged he was.

His parents lived every moment in fear knowing if the heart device failed, they only had 30 seconds to change it before he died. Continue reading “SURVIVOR: Part Two”

SURVIVOR: Part One

BW-Cindy,-Chad,-Reid-and-Skyler-JH-0007-copyReid Skogen’s Journey of Heart and Soul

The last time I saw this little gentleman, I told him I couldn’t believe that THIS story was only HALF of his story.  Reid Skogen said to me, “This, this is just the beginning…”

You, amazingly, are just like every other 10-year-old boy I know, and yet so very special.  I am so proud to know you Mr. Reid Skogen.  Thank you for coming into my life and allowing be to part of the celebration of yours.  -Your friend, Janaia 

At ten years old, Calgary resident Reid Skogen, has been through more than many endure in an entire lifetime – so much so that his mother, Cindy Skogen, says it is hard to ever let her guard down.

“I never get too comfortable with comfortable,” relates Cindy Skogen.

Skye Skogen, Reid Skogen’s older sister, says her mother even has a heightened sense of smell. Cindy Skogen says she believes it’s her survival instinct, and that after all they have been through she can even smell a fever.

“It smells like ink,” says Cindy Skogen.

Reid Skogen’s health demise began with a fever at age seven, at the end of grade one.

“But he had no other symptoms.”

Reid’s parents, Cindy and Chad Skogen, took Reid Skogen into the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) where some tests were done, and were sent home.

“He stopped eating. He was throwing up for no reason and he could not get warm.

By August we had had enough.”

So they went back to the emergency room, and endured what Cindy Skogen described as “a very unfortunate incident.” Continue reading “SURVIVOR: Part One”

ACTIVE

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“I think I over-estimated. It probably isn’t as bad as it is in my head.”

Astrophysics and computer science student at the University of Calgary (U of C), Dante Bencivenga, chooses to do the research he does because, unlike other areas of life, science has an answer.

“Solving math and science problems are more clear. I’m looking for easy problems to solve,” says Bencivenga.

For Bencivenga, “easy” involves scientific and mathematical equations that the majority of people would not have the first clue about.

His curly hair is from his math-teacher-dad; his personality is similar to his doctor-mom’s; he has two sisters who are older than he by six and 10 years – all of who are more private than he.

Bencivenga says that math and science are similar to the journey of life in that it is not only about the destination or solution rather the merit lies in the research and in “how you got there.”

“If everything in life goes as expected, life is kind of boring.” Continue reading “ACTIVE”