Volunteers are the bread and butter for March of Dimes Canada. As we near the end of the year, we’re excited to be sharing the last three volunteer spotlights to give thanks and recognition to the hard work, commitment and dedication they bring to our organization. Thank you!
Meet Rodrigo, our volunteer spotlight for October!
October Volunteer Spotlight
Name: Rodrigo Silva
Nominated by: Jordan Merron
Volunteer Position: Next Steps Walker
What is your favorite part about volunteering with MODC?
Meeting and walking with new people.
What’s your favorite season in Canada and why?
Winter, it’s different from where I grew up. I like the snow and change in the season.
What’s a hidden talent that you have that the people at MODC may not know about?
I play bass guitar.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled?
Yukon, I liked going dog-sledding.
If you could have any meal in the world, what would you choose?
Rice, beans and fries because it’s something my mom made for me growing up. She made it with so much love. It reminds me of home.
We asked Jordan why she nominated this volunteer?
He is energetic and loves to help the walkers!
How long have they been an MODC volunteer?
If you’d like to learn more about March of Dimes Canada’s volunteering opportunities, please visit this landing page from the website: http://bit.ly/MODCVol
In May 2016, I had a Lt Hemorrhagic Stroke. Prior to that, I had been quite physically active, hiking, going to yoga , working out at our local YMCA and snow shoeing in the winter. I did the Terry Fox Run every year. After my stroke, I couldn’t do any of those well loved activities.
Initially, I had in-home therapies through CCAC, to improve my speech and walking skills. In late August, my walking balance had improved and my OT (Occupational Therapist) asked if I had ever heard of Urban Pole Walking. I had several friends who had bought poles, with the intention of pole walking in the summer, so they would be ready for snow shoeing in the winter. However, they had never used them. I got the contact name from my therapist and called the contact person for our local March of Dimes Canada Urban Pole Walking Group. This also led me to Orillia’s Stroke Survivor’s and Caregiver’s Support Group.
When I commented that I was “pretty tippy” and another person said “ We’re all pretty tippy here” I didn’t feel so alone.
My friends started taking me to our local mall on Tuesday mornings for pole walking. It was a challenging, but wonderful experience. I was able to connect with people, who were experiencing the same struggles and successes as I was. When I commented that I was “pretty tippy” and another person said “ We’re all pretty tippy here” I didn’t feel so alone. I had never met other people who had survived a stroke before and it was wonderful to talk to them over coffee, get tips and talk about shared experiences.
The first day of pole walking was really hard. I couldn’t get my poles and my feet to work together. I certainly couldn’t walk & talk!
However, as the Tuesday mornings went by, I was able to go longer distances and soon discovered that I could pole walk while talking. I was improving my both motor skills and endurance, as well as having a social experience with other stoke survivors and my friends.
..I have gained much more. My motor skills and endurance have improved as well as my speech. I have also made several new friends. Going out weekly for a fun activity has made me feel less isolated.
My initial goal for joining the pole walking group was to improve my walking skills, my balance and my endurance for physical activities. However, I have gained much more. My motor skills and endurance have improved as well as my speech. Just as important is that I have also made several new friends. Going out weekly for a fun activity has made me feel less isolated. I have gotten new links to community resources from other survivors, as well as the wonderful volunteers and Pauline Berry from March of Dimes Canada. An unexpected bonus for me was that last weekend, I was actually able to go snow shoeing. That was something I had thought I would never enjoy again. I certainly didn’t go far- just to the fence & back, but I was out enjoying winter again with my friends. Every small success is really a huge accomplishment for a stroke survivor.
In the lead up to World Stroke Day on October 29, 2017 we’ve partnered with UrbanPoling to help promote keeping an active lifestyle through a simple but effective activity – walking! During all of October, Urban Poling will donate 10% of online ACTIVATOR™ pole sales to our Stroke Recovery Canada® (SRC) Program. Take a look at the ACTIVATOR™ poles specs & the benefits of using them: http://bit.ly/UPACTWSD17
If you’re near a participating Guardian & IDA store (http://bit.ly/MODCWSD17) & decide to buy an ACTIVATOR™ Pole in person, donating $10 to SRC will also get you a free set of snow baskets (for your poles in Winter!).