Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Stuart's All Star Band

Blog written by Paul Lorilla

I would like to announce that May is Cystic Fibrosis Month and I am giving a shout out to two incredible people: my colleague and friend, Guinevere Sanderson and her Superhero boy, Stuart.  Warning ! This will not be like other blogs we write as an update ...

As Mundoers, I know that we are tasked when we travel the world to look for passion, commitment and inspiration from people and communities that are less fortunate and in need of a hand up - and this has been the mantra of Isa Mundo.  But from time to time, I am reminded that inspiration is right beside me and that someone I work and converse with each day, is in need of my help. Guin has been an inspiration - similar to all parents who will do anything for their children - she provides that unconditional love and care and then do additional things that remind me of the power of pure love that can sometimes be also driven by anger.  Anger at a disease affecting her child, her family and even her role as a mother. The inspiration to accept reality, continue to nurture, provide friendship, serve Canadians, and then give more time to fight the battle to find the cure to Cystic Fibrosis (CF) so that less people suffer from this horrible disease.  Admirable ...

Then there is Stuart. This perennial rockstar makes me cry because it sucks to see children sick and I tear up with joy when I see him doing things like any normal child. Like all Superheroes, he finds a way to lift us all and take us on a journey by confronting CF full on while inspiring all of us to join him on this battle. I cannot seem to turn a blind eye on CF despite the many projects and commitments we have chosen to support and countless personal fundraising we have done for other initiatives. I have been told that at some point, we choose a few and do it well as passionate folks will surely support all other important causes.

We recently had an All-Staff meeting in Vancouver, the annual gathering where I see my wonderful colleagues together. We had a team-building exercise where we each provided a photo that represents our healing and happy spaces. Guin chose a photo of Stuart walking in the forest as a glimpse of a space that has a positive effect on her well being - this was displayed for us to see and we were tasked to reflect on what each photos conveyed. In the end of the gathering, we could take one photo with us - it was easy for me to choose and I now have this photo in my office.  It reminds me when I see it to be aware of the power of the human spirit and that there is work to do beyond the projects Isa Mundo are doing. What is really one more to take on when we are blessed enough to have the strength and ability to do more.

As the person who drafted our Terms of Reference and outlined that we do not personalize projects we launch and support, I find myself guilty of breaking that. No doubt, CF has affected me because of the relationship I have with Guin and her dedication to keep doing what she is doing with so much compassion, humour and unbreakable spirit. But I'm sure I can be forgiven because this one affects us all.

It is CF Month and the annual Walk to Make CF History will be taking place Sunday, May 26th across Canada.  There are many ways to get involved:
  • Donate;
  • Participate in a walk or virtual walk;
  • Sponsor a walker;
  • Raise awareness and funds on social media;
  • Volunteer through your local Cystic Fibrosis Canada chapter.
I am asking all our members, supporters and volunteers to give and commit what you would normally do for Isa Mundo this month to CF and let's tackle this one like we do all other projects - 100% effort and with care!  To do your part visit the CF Awareness Month and Walk to Make CF History website. and Stuart's All Star Band Team.

You are all heroes already, but I ask this month - Mundoers, assemble !!