Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis vol­un­teer rec­og­nized for out­stand­ing vol­un­teerism

Annapolis Valley Register - - ARTS - Wil­mot

When Agatha Bourassa first got to know twin broth­ers liv­ing with Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis (CF) when she was a child, lit­tle did she re­al­ize how that meet­ing would shape her life.

At the age of 19, she met her hus­band-to-be, Tim Vallillee, who also lives with the dev­as­tat­ing ill­ness. Once their union was sealed 17 years ago, her pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion to find­ing a cure fo CF be­came strong. Ever since that day, Bourassa has been do­ing ev­ery­thing to not only keep her hus­band alive also she’s also made it her mis­sion to help with CF aware­ness and fundrais­ing.

As a teacher at École Rose-desvents in Green­wood, she takes ev­ery pos­si­ble op­por­tu­nity to ed­u­cate her ‘duck­lings’ about not only CF, but about the im­por­tance of be­ing aware of chronic ill­nesses. She knows first-hand peo­ple can be faced with nu­mer­ous chal­lenges, so Bourassa helps in­struct her stu­dents about sup­port and ad­vo­cacy.

Af­ter teach­ing el­e­men­tary classes for 15 years, the en­tire student body is now fully aware of the chal­lenges of liv­ing with Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis. When­ever she asks for sup­port for com­mu­nity driven CF events, stu­dents show up in droves.

Bourassa has also taken on the role of pres­i­dent of the South West Nova and Val­ley Chap­ter of CF Canada for the past six years. Re­cently at the

At­lantic CF Vol­un­teer Meet­ing held in Hal­i­fax, she was awarded with the vol­un­teer lead­er­ship award.

This award rec­og­nizes an in­di­vid­ual, cou­ple or family who have demon­strated strong lead­er­ship to a chap­ter and who have made wide-reach­ing con­tri­bu­tions wor­thy of com­men­da­tion on a re­gional level.

“Our com­mu­nity may be small, but those liv­ing in it have huge hearts and have given the An­napo­lis Val­ley na­tional ex­po­sure for the CF cause and those fight­ing this ter­ri­ble ill­ness like my hus­band,” said Bourassa.

Ever ready to share her ideas, Bourassa says she is proud to con­tinue the fight against CF and will be lead­ing the way with two big events be­ing held this month. May is Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis month and there are sev­eral ways to help fight the dis­ease.

Live for Lives

On May 20 the mu­si­cal fundraiser, Live for Lives, is tak­ing place at the Capi­tol Pub in Mid­dle­ton from 5 p.m. to clos­ing time with three bands per­form­ing.

Tim Vallillee, a lo­cal en­ter­tainer who also fights this ill­ness, is team­ing up with his mu­si­cal com­pan­ion Steve ‘Jug­head’ Brown from Hal­i­fax to open the event.

At 7:30 p.m., the Joseph Bezan­son trio takes over and will be fol­lowed by the ever pop­u­lar clas­sic rock band Jok­ers Right from 9 p.m. on.

En­try to the fun-filled event is a good-will of­fer­ing, with 50/50 draws and a few auction items up for grabs through­out the evening.

Walk to make Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis His­tory

The an­nual Walk to make Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis His­tory takes place on Sun­day, May 28 in Kingston.

The walk is open to ev­ery­one. A num­ber of lo­cal schools are plan­ning to rep­re­sent their team spirit and de­sire to help End CF.

As pres­i­dent of the lo­cal CF Chap­ter, Bourassa says she is proud her com­mu­nity is host­ing the event for the sixth con­sec­u­tive year.

“We are al­ways so proud to host the Walk for CF and are so pleased with the sup­port we get from our walk­ers, our schools, the Vil­lage of Kingston and all our me­dia,” said Bourassa.

Pre-reg­is­tra­tion will take place at the Credit Union Cen­tre ball field just be­side the rink. The walk de­parts at 1 p.m. with the path tak­ing the walk­ers all the way down Bridge Street. Dairy Queen and Sub­way are pro­vid­ing snacks to par­tic­i­pants.

Any­one in­ter­ested in sign­ing up and gath­er­ing pledges go to http://www.cys­tic­fi­bro­sis.ca/ walk/ and start your plan to END CF!

All funds raised at these events go di­rectly to CF re­search.

Con­trib­uted

Ded­i­cated vol­un­teer Agatha Bourassa has been rec­og­nized by the At­lantic Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis or­ga­ni­za­tion for her work in the Val­ley.

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