Doing the Unthinkable

Read Alicia's heartwarming story of the accomplishments she has worked towards despite the challenges she has faced.

My name is Alicia Denoon. I am a nineteen-year-old graduate of John F. Ross C.V.I. and I will be heading to the University of Guelph in the fall of 2016 for a Bachelor of Commerce in Leadership and Organization. I am a competitive Para-swimmer and have competed in events such as the Canada Summer Games and the Para Pan Am Games. Using my abilities, I reveal my true character as an example of strength and perseverance for those who are still without a road to travel on. Personally, I strive to teach, guide and lead those who are in need, and inspire them with my story.

Becoming the person I am today has come with challenges, I am a childhood brain tumour survivor who was diagnosed at the age of three. The initial surgery did extensive permanent damage to my brain, mainly the removal of 80% of my cerebellum.This resulted in balance and coordination difficulties, gross and fine motor skill deficiencies, and visual impairment. The visual impairment means I am unable to fully process things such as writing, so regularly, I use computers and other digital devices with special software to aid me . The visual impairment and balance issues also mean I have difficulty with orientation and mobility. I need help navigating my environment and will never be medically cleared to get a driver's license. Despite all of these complications I pursue life in an extraordinary fashion, completing tasks in a way that fits my unusual situation.

Humanitarianism is one of my passions, which is demonstrated through my efforts in fundraising for other children and families affected by cancer. I am actively involved with Ronald McDonald House Hamilton, Brain Tumour Foundation, ten4ten campaign, and I am a Coast to Coast Ambassador. Currently I am working at Camp Trillium as a lifeguard and counsellor.

In the future, I will continue pursuing fundraising opportunities and hopefully make a career out of helping people in need. Imagining myself long-term, I see a university graduate with a degree in business, looking to apply the knowledge gained to an organization close to my heart such as the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, The Terry Fox Foundation or Coast to Coast Against Cancer. I choose to help others before myself; all of the challenges I have faced only empowers and inspires me to do the unthinkable.


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