SAVTI/Survivor Success Story
Darnell Ransom

How did you find out about SAVTI?
The art therapist, who I knew during treatment, asked the SAVTI counsellor to see me at my (POGO) AfterCare appointment about four years ago.

When you connected with SAVTI, what support were you looking for and/or what goal are/were you working toward?
My goal was to find something that I wanted to do, career-wise. I had an original goal to be a wrestler that was not attainable because of the avascular necrosis (AVN) in my ankles that I was diagnosed with secondary to my cancer treatment. I needed to look at other options.

What work have you and your SAVTI counsellor done together?
Initially my SAVTI counsellor and I looked at college programs. At the time I was doing a co-op in the music room at school, which I really enjoyed, so I thought working with children/youth might be a good fit for me. My SAVTI counsellor said that there are lots of jobs in this area, especially for men, as it mostly attracts females. I enrolled in the Human Services Foundation Program at Fanshawe College after looking at programs with SAVTI.

Unfortunately, the course wasn't what I thought it would be and I left after the first semester.

I have worked at Walmart for years, and my AVN was finally beginning to make the job duties painful and difficult. At my AfterCare visit in December 2018, I made an appointment to see my SAVTI counsellor to talk about what jobs I could do, without retraining or attending college, and with the AVN physical limitations. The jobs we looked at that were currently available to me were less than exciting, and I decided I might like to go back to college. We looked at a few options and SAVTI sent me home to think about it. I have decided to apply to the Pre-Media program at Fanshawe for September 2019. I did some research online and spoke to a student I know, and I think this will be exciting and something that I will really enjoy.

Where are you now?
My SAVTI counsellor and I went over the application process, talked about OSAP and scholarship funding, and the process for accessing accommodations at Fanshawe.

What is one thing you learned or took away from the counselling process?
I learned that there is more than one option for me. I was so focused on wrestling that I wasn't thinking about what else I might like to do. I was so bummed out. Even though my first college experience wasn't what I had hoped, I now think I have found an option that will make me happy.

Also, I learned more about myself and to be more open to trying new things. I was able to make a decision to try, and before I was stuck in a mindset that kept me from trying.


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