I recently completed a media fellowship with Aga Khan Foundation Canada in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
As the Saskatchewan correspondent for The Canadian Press, my work appeared in major media outlets including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the National Post. I also regularly produced content for video and broadcast clients.
Previously I worked in Toronto, Victoria and Kingston as a journalist. I have written hundreds of news articles that range from politics to crime to human interest stories.
I have a Master of Journalism from Carleton University where I was a two-time recipient of competitive travel awards to fund journalism development opportunities in Kigali, Rwanda and Harare, Zimbabwe. In Rwanda, I worked on a major journalism project about the growth of palliative care in the region and the lack of access to morphine.
Clippings updated on July 1, 2015.
KIGALI, Rwanda —With protruding eyes and a skeletal frame, Didas is the picture of a dying man. A thin hospital robe cannot conceal the dark marks pocked across his chest, masking yellowed skin. At 57 years old, he is suffering from the end stages of liver cancer, spending his last days here in Kibagabaga Hospital. The one-storey brick building is encircled by greenery, and sits quietly on the outskirts of Kigali.
But while Didas’s body is ravaged by disease, his mind would seem to be at peace. A weak handshake is followed by a smile as he tells the doctor that, yes, he is comfortable.
Only an hour ago, a simple touch to Didas’s body would make him cry in pain, causing tears to stream down the angular bones in his face. But now he can speak. He ranks his pain as a zero out of five, as opposed to the intense pain he had been dealing with before arriving at Kibagabaga Hospital.
His adult daughter, Winnie, stands beside the metal-framed bed, grasping a wrinkled piece of lined paper. On her own, she charts her father’s morphine consumption in scribbled ink, without the assurance of a medical chart. Every four hours, she must take a 30-milligram pill and slip it onto her father’s tongue to relieve what would otherwise be excruciating pain. The drug takes at least 30 minutes to take effect, peaking in the bloodstream after an hour.
The open-air room is small, but bright light filters in through the door. Against the wall is a thin mattress rolled into a cylinder. That’s where Didas’s wife and daughter sleep, rolling it out at night onto the concrete floor. In Rwanda it’s standard for patients to be cared for by family. Didas’s food and comfort comes from them, and 25-year-old Winnie acts as his primary caregiver.
“When he started taking morphine, the pain would go away,” Winnie says.
Morphine is a hero here. But Didas is one of only a handful of patients who will receive palliative care in the last weeks of life — part of a fledgling government program to offer at least some semblance of palliative care, a novelty in most of Africa.
Neil Bantleman, 45, who worked at the prestigious Jakarta International School, was arrested last week during a police investigation into the alleged sexual assault of three kindergarten students.
His wife, Tracy Bantleman, who also teaches at the school, said the week since her husband’s arrest has been a “horrific nightmare.”
“He is using every ounce of energy he has to keep it together,” she said in a phone interview from Jakarta.
Tracy Bantleman, 42, said the prison conditions are “reasonable,” and include a clean cell area with a mattress on the floor.
Read more: http://goo.gl/CitNam
“One deceased and one with some grave problems,” Alma Wiebe said Friday.
She spoke Friday afternoon after a jury tasked with finding ways to prevent a similar death released 19 recommendations.
Lee Bonneau was found with head injuries in a wooded area on the Kahkewistahaw reserve in 2013. He had last been seen walking with an older boy outside a recreation complex while his foster mother was playing bingo.
Read more: http://goo.gl/GTkpkr
During her harrowing search for her biological mother, she learned that she had seven younger siblings. Five brothers and one sister were all placed in foster care or put up for adoption. Another sibling died at birth in 1995.
Ms. Campbell, 42, met her mother in 2001 and completed her search for her siblings in October when she tracked down her last brother, Dwayne Lyons, in Ontario.
Read more: http://goo.gl/E9JAVN
The 36-year-old scaffolder was working at an oil refinery in Regina when a pipe burst and her life changed forever.
“There was this big boom, and I remember cringing,” Janvier says. “I looked up and there was this big fireball coming down at me.”
One of the memories she can’t escape, she says, is watching her hard hat roll away.
Severe burns on her hands, face, neck and ears confined her to hospital for six days. She needed another three months of outpatient treatment in her home city of Edmonton. She was left with nerve damage in one leg.
Read more: http://goo.gl/L2PXoE
A transgender man in Saskatchewan says he has dealt with discrimination and barriers to treatment while seeking gender reassignment, but he insists the journey is even more difficult for many of his peers.
“It’s absurd,” he said. “I knew that social transition was going to be a hard thing … but the only person who has ever made me feel lesser, or made me feel like a freak in all of this, was a medical professional.”
Read more: http://goo.gl/TUeO1C
Wayne Gretzky figures there is no photograph fans ask him to sign more often than the one of him as a smiling preteen beside his idol Gordie Howe, who is playfully hooking a hockey stick around the future Great One’s neck.
“Every time I look at the picture or sign the picture, it’s nothing but great memories,” Gretzky said Friday as he and several hockey legends paid tribute to Howe in his hometown. “He was nicer and better … when I met him than even what I thought he was going to be.”
Read more: http://goo.gl/9DFGJ1