Margot Dean - Family Volunteer
Margot and her dog Lilly are a dynamic duo in our Family Volunteer department! Family Volunteers work alongside the professional care team to enhance the quality of life of the child with a progressive, life-threatening illness, and his/her family.
This volunteer is that missing friend or neighbor the family may call on to lend a hand when time and energy are depleted.
The family volunteers are fully trained and can be found with the children during activities, in the school room, working with arts and crafts, on outings in the community and generally are there to support the child and family with whatever activities they are doing.
Read on for Margot's chat!
How long have you been volunteering at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice?
Since November 2005 – coming up to my 8th anniversary!
What’s your favourite kind of Canuck Place cookie?
White chocolate cranberry – on the days I’m allowed to have carbs, that’s what I go for!
Describe yourself in five words.
Compassionate, giving, playful, good listener, open.
Share your favourite or most meaningful moment you’ve experienced as a hospice volunteer.
So many! Having my dog Lilly has added to my experience. One that stands out is with a little boy who was a cancer patient. As a Family Volunteer you grow close to families at end-of-life. One day I was out in the garden with this boy's sister. We went up to visit him on the second floor. His sister and Lilly went into the room, where her brother was on the floor for easy access. Lilly started licking him and he made a sound that could only be described as a laugh. His parents told me that was the first time in a long time that they had heard anything happy from their son. I was honoured that Lilly and I were a part of that moment for them. The little boy passed away shortly afterward, so that will always remain a wonderful memory for me.
Why volunteer? What brought you to Canuck Place?
I was watching a documentary in 2005 of the dog that preceded Lilly and the work done at Canuck Place. My children told me to get involved - me and Lilly! I have volunteered my whole life – it keeps me grounded and appreciative. I am truly inspired by the kids and families I meet here, and their resiliency, their courage. It’s an honour and privilege to give my time to Canuck Place. It’s a gift.
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