WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE A POGO TRANSITIONS COUNSELLOR?
|Sharon: My mom is a cancer survivor and we are infinitely grateful for the supportive care provided at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She works as a teacher, and I witnessed her transition back to work after treatment. I saw that a smooth transition to school or work is possible with the proper support and access to the right resources. I wanted to work as a Transitions Counsellor to contribute to that support system that all cancer patients should have access to.
|Olivia: I have seen firsthand how difficult and heartbreaking a cancer journey can be; I wanted to be a Transitions Counsellor to hopefully make the journey a little bit easier for folks. Also, I am a bit of a nerd and love to get my hands on any new piece of learning or education, and I was intrigued by the idea of being able to encourage others to develop a love of education as well!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
|Sharon: The people. Everyone is dedicated and passionate about the work they do. I am beyond honoured to be part of this team.
|Olivia: Being able to connect with and build relationships with so many people.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST ONCOLOGY WORD/TERMINOLOGY YOU HAVE HAD TO LEARN?
|Sharon: There are several; medulloblastoma was one.
|Olivia: I don’t know about the hardest, but I think one that surprised me was Sonic hedgehog.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE WORKING WITH SURVIVORS?
|Sharon: A pleasant surprise was how many survivors prioritized new hobbies. Quite a few mentioned how post-treatment sparked a curiosity to try new things such as pottery, playing a new instrument, joining a book club etc. Hearing about the joy and empowerment of learning a new skill was beautiful.
|Olivia: I’m not sure if I was necessarily surprised by anything. Coming into this role, I didn’t know what to expect and made a conscious effort to come open-minded and see everyone as a unique individual regardless of diagnosis.
DOGS OR CATS?
|Sharon: Team dogs, always. Specifically, golden retrievers. That energy and enthusiasm is contagious.
|Olivia: Dogs all the way! Cats are too cold. Plus, my dog Walter, the basset hound, is just about the best animal out there, so I have to vote dogs!
WINTER OR SUMMER?
|Sharon: I’m an avid hiker, BBQ apprentice and frequent beach-goer, so summer will always trump winter for me.
|Olivia: Summer! I love going to the beach, being at a cottage and swimming in the ocean or a pool.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PUMP-UP SONG RIGHT NOW?