Bautista bat flip home run ball fetches $28K US at auction


​Jose Bautista’s bat-flip ball has sold at auction for more than $28,000 US.

Lelands Auction House’s website showed Saturday morning that the ball, which was hit into the stands at Rogers Centre during Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, had sold for $28,252.80.

Open bidding closed at 10 p.m. ET on Friday. Anyone who had bid on the ball before that deadline was then entitled to re-bid in a 30-minute window.

There were 17 total bids. The reserve bid, set on Jan. 4, was $3,500.

Bautista hit the seventh-inning blast to put Toronto ahead 6-3 after the Rangers had taken a 3-2 lead in the top half of the frame. The homer became entrenched in Blue Jays lore when it was punctuated by his notorious bat flip.

The Blue Jays won the game to rally from a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-five series. They then lost to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals in the AL Championship Series.

Bautista is currently a free agent after leaving Toronto in 2017 and playing for the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in 2018.


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Liberals reject Karen Wang’s request to run again as party’s candidate in Burnaby South byelection


VANCOUVER—The federal Liberal party is shutting the door on its former candidate in the Burnaby South byelection after she expressed second thoughts about resigning.

Karen Wang, who until Wednesday was the Liberal candidate running against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in the highly anticipated byelection, Wednesday resigned over comments she made on social media about Singh’s race. Later, she asked the prime minister to let her run after all.

But the party has decided against letting Wang run under the Liberal banner.

“Recent online comments by Karen Wang are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada. The Liberal Party has accepted her resignation as a candidate and she will not represent the Liberal Party in the Burnaby South byelection,” wrote Braeden Caley, Liberal Party spokesperson in an email Thursday.

Wang, a daycare operator who was selected last month to run for the Liberals in one of the country’s most diverse ridings, Saturday urged voters over the Chinese social media network WeChat to vote for her, “the only Chinese candidate in the riding,” rather than her opponent Singh, “of Indian descent.”

She apologized to Singh Wednesday, after the Star published details of the WeChat post initially published in Chinese, and stepped down as the Liberal candidate in the riding.

“My choice of words wasn’t well-considered and didn’t reflect my intent,” she said in the Wednesday statement, adding that she has deep respect for the NDP leader.

Speaking in a phone interview before she knew the Liberal party’s response to her request to run again, Wang said she has the « heart and passion » to serve Burnaby South and that she would consider running as an independent if the Liberals wouldn’t take her back.

Read more:

‘It makes us look bad’: Burnaby’s Chinese-Canadian community reacts to Karen Wang’s resignation over WeChat post

Peter Julian, NDP MP for New West Burnaby, which neighbours Burnaby South, called Wang’s on-again off-again candidacy “bizarre and confusing.”

“The prime minister needs to answer for this,” Julian told the Star Thursday. “He hasn’t commented on the Liberal campaign at all.”

Julian said the NDP campaign in Burnaby South meanwhile remains focused on knocking on doors and speaking to voters about election issues like housing.

In a statement Thursday, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said it’s not too late for the Liberals to do the “right thing” by not running anyone against Singh. May announced last year that her party would follow the so-called “leader’s courtesy” by giving an opposing party leader a pass when they try to win a seat during a byelection.

“Stéphane Dion extended it to me in 2008 and the courtesy has been extended to former leaders such as Joe Clark, Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper, Jean Chrétien and Robert Stanfield,” May said.

“Let Jagmeet Singh run unopposed in the Burnaby-South byelection.”

News of Wang’s resignation was met with mixed reactions from Burnaby’s large Chinese-Canadian community. Some members of the community told the Star Wednesday they were disappointed by Wang’s apparent attempt to appeal to persuade voters on the basis of race.

With files from The Canadian Press

Melanie Green is a Vancouver-based reporter covering food, culture and policy. Follow her on Twitter: @mdgmediaAlex McKeen is a Vancouver-based reporter covering wealth and work. Follow her on Twitter: @alex_mckeen

Alex Ballingall is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @aballinga


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Kevin Vickers considering run for New Brunswick Liberal leadership


Kevin Vickers, who became Canada’s ambassador to Ireland after being hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, is considering a move into politics.

The former sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons said he’s considering a run for Liberal leadership in his native New Brunswick, though he’s a « long ways from making a decision. »

Lisa Harris, Liberal MLA for Miramichi Bay-Neguac, said she met with Vickers recently and believes he would be an exciting candidate for the party’s leadership.

Former premier Brian Gallant announced recently that he’ll be stepping down as Liberal leader earlier than planned, saying the party needs to move on.

In an interview from Trout Brook, N.B., Vickers said he wants to carry on the legacy of his father, Bill, who began the Northumberland Co-Op Dairy decades ago.


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U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’s classmates from her Canadian high school cheer her potential run for president


WASHINGTON—In the yearbook photo of the 1981 graduating class at Westmount High School near Montreal, the left hand of a beaming Kamala Harris is resting on the right shoulder of Hugh Kwok.

Kwok went on to run a Montreal car business with his father. Unbeknownst to him, Harris went on to be a U.S. senator. She’s now contemplating a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, seen here in a May 5 file photo.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, seen here in a May 5 file photo.  (CHRIS DELMAS / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

When Kwok was asked in December for his thoughts on his old pal’s potential run, he answered a reporter’s question with a question.

“She’s running for president of what?” he asked in a tone that suggested he thought the answer might be the local Rotary Club.

Informed that it was the presidency of the United States, his voice rose. “No way. Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it,” he said. Then he decided he was supportive of this idea.

“We could use a good president,” he said. “She was a sweet, kind person. Very happy, very social. I’m just very excited for her, if that’s what she wants to do with her life.”

Harris has said she will decide over the holidays whether to run for president. If she does, she will be considered one of the major candidates in what is expected to be a crowded competition for the Democratic nomination. It is now possible that Westmount, the 145-year-old public school where singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and hockey legend Art Ross also studied, will produce a U.S. president before it produces a Canadian prime minister.

Harris returned to her native U.S. for university, and she long ago lost touch with most or all of her Westmount acquaintances. But some of them have traded delighted texts and Facebook posts about her ascent. And they are generally not all that surprised.

They remember the California senator, now 54, as an assured, cheery teenager who thrived both in school and on the dance floor. They say she maintained an easy popularity across the subtle divides of a racially and economically diverse student body that drew from both wealthy and lower-income neighbourhoods.

Harris “gave off an aura suggesting she was poised for success,” said Paul Olioff, now an academic adviser at McGill University, who recalled her as a “terrific, confident presence” with an advanced fashion sense.

“Westmount High was a very racially segregated school when we attended, not in a hostile way, but more because of socio-economic divisions. Ms. Harris transcended this, as there were few students she didn’t get along with,” Olioff said in an email.

This is at least the fourth consecutive presidential election in which a major candidate has had family ties to Canada. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who lost the Republican primary to Donald Trump in 2016, was born in Calgary. Former president Barack Obama has a brother-in-law from Burlington.

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As Obama and Cruz know, the “America First” Trump has a talent for portraying an opponent’s links to foreign countries as grounds for voter suspicion. Asked via email how her Westmount years influenced her, Harris expressed no particular fondness for Montreal, Quebec or Canada.

“While my sister Maya and I made great friends and even learned some French, we were happy to return home to California,” she said through a spokesperson.

She did add: “One of the women’s auxiliary groups at the hospital my mother worked at ended up inspiring me to help create an auxiliary group at the Highland Hospital in Oakland later in life.”

Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, is the California-born daughter of two immigrants to the U.S., both of whom earned PhDs: India-born scientist and breast cancer researcher Shyamala Gopalan Harris and Jamaican-born economics professor Donald Harris.

They divorced when Kamala was a young child. When she was 12, she said, her mother moved to Montreal for a job researching at the Jewish General Hospital and teaching at McGill. Her mother spent 16 years in the job, according to a 2009 family obituary.

Both of Harris’s parents were involved in the U.S. civil rights movement. Sister and fellow Westmount student Maya Harris, who became a lawyer, adviser to Hillary Clinton and television commentator, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Kamala became something of an activist in Quebec at 13 — organizing a successful children’s protest against a no-playing-in-the-yard policy at their apartment building.

In the 1981 Westmount yearbook, Harris thanked her mother and listed “California” as a cherished memory. She said a favourite pastime was “dancing with super six; Midnight Magic.” Old friend Wanda Kagan told the Canadian Press last year that Midnight Magic was their amateur dance troupe, which she said performed at fundraisers and for seniors at community centres.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, who is running for president, graduated from Westmount High School in Montreal in 1981.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, who is running for president, graduated from Westmount High School in Montreal in 1981.  (Submitted by John Dila)

Eyal Dattel, a human resources director in Vancouver, said he recalls his drama classmate as “always a truly nice person” and now sees her as “an ideal candidate for a progressive future.” Dean Smith, a Montreal basketball coach, said he remembers Harris as a hard-studying and likeable student who helped classmates with schoolwork and preferred to spend time with average kids rather than with moneyed elites.

“In my opinion, she’d be a great president, because she’s fair,” he said.

John Dila, a Harris classmate who is now a Harris constituent as a businessman on the California startup scene, said the Westmount students of the day regularly discussed politics.

Harris lived in Quebec at a tense time in local affairs: the provincial government passed its French-language law in 1977, held a referendum on independence in 1980, and, in 1981, opposed the patriation of the Constitution. Dila, who praised Harris at length, said he thinks she understands policy issues better than American colleagues who have had narrower life experiences.

“Having lived in Canada — those are seminal years, and I can’t believe she wasn’t deeply shaped by the handful of years that she was there,” he said.

At least one Westmount classmate is cool to Harris’s candidacy. Gail Clarke described the teenage Harris as “pretend sweet,” lamenting that the senator decided in Grade 11 that she was too unexciting to continue hanging out with. Clarke added: “I do wish Kamala the best.”

Before Harris, Westmount’s most successful politician graduate was Stockwell Day, the Conservative former federal minister and former leader of the Canadian Alliance party.

Even Day, Class of ’67, had positive words about Harris’s bid. He said her experience at a school at once diverse and harmonious would have “given her some great insights into how a multinational population really can work and live together.”

“Her policies as Attorney General in California on things like gun control and criminal justice reform would fit in quite well in Canada,” Day said in an email. “If she runs and wins the presidency, I will definitely reach out to her to see if Westmount High alums can get tickets to her inauguration!”

Daniel Dale is the Star’s Washington bureau chief. He covers U.S. politics and current affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @ddale8


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Has Bombardier finally run out of track?


What was the death knell for Bombardier Transportation (BT), the rail division of Bombardier Inc.?

Was it the 2017 decision by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to disqualify BT from even bidding on a landmark contract for as many as 1,800 rail cars? Was it the 2017 decisions in Bombardier’s home Canadian market by the transit systems of Montreal and Toronto to order their next-gen rail cars from China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. (CRRC) and France’s Alstom SA, respectively?

Or, finally, was it the decision announced last week by Via Rail, yet another firm in Bombardier’s home country, to award a $1-billion (Cdn) contract for railcars to Germany’s Siemens AG?

There have been many such setbacks at BT.

Always, BT’s record of unreliability in delivering glitch-free products on time is why it loses contracts. And each setback also costs BT lucrative after-sales service contracts.

You could say that it’s time for Bombardier to shed its arrogant incompetence (problems with faulty BT equipment are usually the buyer’s fault, in BT’s view), now that archrivals Siemens and Alstom are merging, with combined global market share more than twice that of BT’s approximately 4 per cent.

And BT has no realistic hope of holding off Chinese state-owned industry leader CRRC (13 per cent market share), a growing threat to BT in North America, where it already has planted its flag in Montreal, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

You could say that.

But, as a still-bloated General Motors Co. has shown us in waking up one morning with the realization it needed to shutter seven North American plants including GM Oshawa, entrenched cultures of arrogant complacency that are decades in the making usually end only with liquidation.

Canada’s resilient banks

Two warnings last week of economic turbulence ahead should be assessed in a larger, favourable context.

The federal banking regulator last week ordered Canadian banks to tighten their lending standards, ahead of a possible economic slowdown in 2019 and a resulting rise in loan losses. And Citigroup Inc. warned of a possible “debt crisis” for Canada and, indeed, the world, over the next three years.

Consider, though, that three years is a long time, and that at least some of the troubles currently besetting the world are temporary. To wit, trade wars, Brexit, slumping commodity prices, the easing in China’s once-torrid GDP growth rate, and geopolitical instability ranging from Russian adventurism to severe economic distress in major economies such as Brazil.

But the trade wars will abate, since there are only losers on all sides. Europe’s economic crisis is waning. Brexit will resolve itself, perhaps not in ideal fashion but with the crippling uncertainly removed. Lower oil prices benefit emerging economies. China’s GDP is poised for a modest uptick, and Japan has just recorded its second-longest postwar stretch of GDP growth uninterrupted by recession. Add in continued U.S. buoyancy, and the world’s three biggest economies are robust.

Canada’s Big Six banks have bolstered their reserves to withstand above-average loan losses. Should those occur, the “contagion” we’re warned of – a jump in Alberta loan losses spreading elsewhere – is unlikely. For instance, Quebec’s much larger economy is posting unusually strong growth.

Preparing for the worst is wise. But there is such a thing as the Cassandra who has predicted seven of the last two downturns. This probably isn’t a time to go long on pessimism.

Making the internet safe

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, in 1990, is waging a campaign to enable us to be online “freely, safely and without fear.”

So far, more than 50 organizations have signed up for his mission to create a “Magna Carta for the web,” rules of proper conduct devised by governments, business and individuals, who then adhere to them.

Ahead of the Magna Carta’s scheduled publication May 2019, you can monitor its development at Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation .

Among the early signatories to the Magna Carta project are Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. It only makes sense that these two firms, which dominate what was intended to be a public commons, be at the table.

Then again, the business model for Facebook and Google is the harvesting of intimate data of billions of people for sale to parties unknown, for use as they see fit. As such, they are prime candidates for transformation into non-profit utilities.

Berners-Lee is confident that the likes of Facebook and Google feel a moral obligation to clean up their vast ecosystems. “People in the big companies are concerned about truth and democracy,” he has told the U.K. Guardian.

That is a strikingly naïve proposition.

Fact is, civility and the profit motive don’t easily mix, not online, in medicine, and many other realms.

But if Berners-Lee can galvanize the forces required to clean up the Web, he will be owed a second debt of gratitude. Gordon Brown, the former U.K. prime minister and an early signatory to the Magna Carta, has put it well: “Tim Berners-Lee has pinpointed one of the great human rights issues of our time.”

David Olive is a business columnist based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @TheGrtRecession


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Former NDP MP Svend Robinson ‘very seriously considering’ federal run in 2019


Former NDP MP Svend Robinson says he is « very seriously considering » a return to federal politics, noting that his former party is facing challenging times.

Robinson, 66, represented the Vancouver-area riding of Burnaby for 25 years.

He left politics in 2004 after he admitted stealing a diamond ring from an auction, saying he was under too much strain at the time.

Since then, he has spent time in Switzerland working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. After retiring last year, Robinson and his partner moved to Cyprus.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is planning to run in the byelection for Burnaby South. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)

If he decides to run, Robinson said he would seek election in Burnaby North—Seymour and hopefully help out the NDP candidate in the neighbouring riding — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who is expected to face a byelection in Burnaby South in February.

The NDP won Burnaby South by a little more than 500 votes in the 2015 federal election.

« I will do everything I can to support Jagmeet and support him in his campaign for election in Burnaby South. Hopefully if I’m a candidate in a neighbouring riding, that will be of some assistance, » Robinson said on the phone from Cyprus.

Robinson, pictured here in Parliament in 2003, said he spent a month door-knocking in the Burnaby North—Seymour riding this fall and sent a letter to residents saying he is seriously considering a run. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

‘Let’s do this!’

Despite insisting he hasn’t made up his mind, Robinson said he spent a month door-knocking in the riding this fall and sent a letter to residents saying he is seriously considering a run.

His letter closed by pointing out a nomination meeting will take place early in the new year.

« And then we will have to work very hard together over the months leading up to the election in October of next year to take back the riding. Let’s do this! » the letter said.

Speaking from Cyprus, Robinson said he thinks he could add some veteran know-how to the federal NDP given the number of experienced caucus members not standing for re-election next year.

‘I was fighting Trans Mountain 30 years ago’

Liberal Terry Beech is running again in Burnaby North—Seymour, which is set to become a battleground riding next year over Liberal pledges to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. The pipeline ends in the riding.

« I was fighting the Trans Mountain pipeline 30 years ago because of the threat to the environment then, » Robinson said.

« [The 2019 election is] probably the last chance we will have to really make a difference on what I say is the most fundamental issue in the next election: climate change, » he continued.

« We either take the serious decisions we have to take to save our planet — save our country — or face very serious consequences. »

Robinson said he hopes to make up his mind on whether he’ll run by the end of the month. He plans to move back to B.C. in early 2019.


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‘I run because I know things don’t last forever’: B.C. woman places 2nd in ultramarathon after fiancé dies


Samantha Kasdorf took the mantra of « just putting one foot in front of the other » to cope with the death of a loved one further than most.

The Prince Rupert runner crossed the finish line of the 100-kilometre San Joaquin River Trail Ultramarathon over the weekend, placing second among women in the California race with a time of 14 hours and three minutes.   

« I run because I know things don’t last forever, » said Kasdorf, 30.

Her fiancé, Cody Scheuerman, died in January after a two-year battle with cancer. Kasdorf turned to running as a form of therapy.

« Running became a really healthy outlet for me, » she told Carolina de Ryk, the host of CBC’s Daybreak North.

« [Cody] was very encouraging, always pushing me to challenge myself. »

Kasdorf was originally planning to run a shorter, 80-kilometre race, but it was cancelled due to the wildfires in California.

She wasn’t about to let that stop her, though. At the last minute signed up for an more gruelling challenge: a 100-kilometre race thread through rocky, uneven terrain with an elevation gain of more than 3,600 metres  — which is higher than some peaks in the Canadian Rockies.

Samantha Kasdorf finished the 100 kilometre San Joaquin River Trail Ultramarathon in 14 hours, three minutes on the weekend. (Submitted by Samantha Kasdorf )

‘His zest for life carried me through’

Throughout those hours of slogging up the mountain, and in previous runs, Kasdorf often thinks about her fiancé, who was also an avid outdoorsman and athlete.  

« Tears definitely fall in every race that I’ve run this year, » she said.

« I have lots of ups and downs and his zest for life carried me through the toughest moments of those races for sure. »

Kasdorf takes comfort in training and the long distances she runs.

« It makes me feel very alive, » she said.

« I realized just putting one foot in front of the other is all I can do. »

Samantha Kasdorf took the mantra of « just putting one foot in front of the other » to cope with the death of a loved one further than most. 6:29


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The Healthyish Newsletter: One of the Toughest Stories We’ve Ever Run | Healthyish


Every week, Healthyish editor Amanda Shapiro talks about what she’s seeing, eating, watching, and reading in the wellness world and beyond. Pro tip: If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get the scoop before everyone else.

Healthyish friends,

Last January, senior staff writer Alex Beggs sent me this Q+A with Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali. Reading it, I was curious how undergoing cancer treatment affected her relationship with food and cooking, so I DMed Fatima on Instagram asking if she wanted to write something for Healthyish. Three days later, I opened my inbox to find a beautiful, raw, and unsentimental essay about how cancer changed the way she cooked. I know the first lines from memory: « If I lie absolutely still, the room stops spinning, and my stomach doesn’t wretch. »

We emailed back and forth about small edits. Sometimes I’d hear from her in a day; other times a month would pass, but Fatima would always come back with an apology—she’d been in treatment, or recovering from treatment, or in the hospital with the flu—and a more polished draft. In May, we published her first essay about how cancer changed the way she cooks.

A lot of people read and shared the story, and Fatima wrote to tell me about all the love she was getting on Instagram and beyond. I was happy to hear it, and we were all optimistic that the last rounds of chemotherapy would kick her cancer to the curb forever. I looked forward to following Fatima’s career and eating at her dream restaurant, the one where « the kebabs melt against your tongue and the cocktails are just sweet enough to calm the burn. »

A few weeks ago, Fatima emailed me to ask if I was interested in another essay. She told me that her cancer was back. She wanted to write about what it felt like to go from a healthy 28-year-old chef on one of the biggest cooking shows in the world—someone who exercised diligently, drank responsibly, and ate well—to a cancer patient being told that she had just a 10 percent chance of living through the year.

Of course I said yes, and her essay came in within the week. This time, our back-and-forth edits went quickly. I could sense Fatima’s urgency in getting it out into the world. This second essay is one of the most powerful stories I’ve run on Healthyish since we launched almost two years ago, and it has resonated widely since it was published yesterday. I’m grateful to Fatima for writing it and awed by her ability to put words to what she’s experiencing right now.

Working with Fatima has reminded me that there are infinite stories to be told beyond the pitches that land in my inbox every day. There are more people out there with experiences to share.

In her second essay, Fatima writes, « When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living. When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel. » This isn’t a new idea, but it really hit home for me this week, when I’m feeling fatigued by the depressing news cycle and the constant hamster wheel of assigning, editing, and posting that comes with running a media site. Working on these posts with Fatima has forced me to slow down, to think harder about the words on the page, and to honor the writer behind them.

It’s a small thing, but I’m grateful.

Until next week,

Amanda Shapiro
Healthyish Editor


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Experts call for care model in ‘the language of dementia’ after Alzheimer’s run – Calgary


Calgarian Brian Mason lost his mother Sharon to Alzheimer’s disease seven years ago. On Sunday, Sharon’s family ran in her memory at Eau Claire Market in Calgary for the 28th annual Investors Group Alzheimer Walk and Run.

“It was really, really tough,” Mason said. “I think for everybody involved, including her, it was really really tough.”

“At the very end she didn’t remember anything,” he added. “She didn’t remember becoming Alzheimer’s-like but, for much of the period, she would have phases where she would realize exactly what was happening and that was terrifying for her.”

Calgarian Brian Mason lost his mother Sharon seven years ago to Alzheimer’s disease. On Sunday, Sharon’s family ran in her memory at Eau Claire Market in Calgary for the 28th annual Investors Group Alzheimer Walk and Run.

Global News

There is a new way of caring for dementia patients that aims at making the journey less frightening.

“Dementia care is one of the last bastions where we have a sector of society that is put right on the fringes as if they are non-people,” said Dr. David Sheard at an Edmonton conference on dementia care on Saturday. Sheard is a dementia care consultant and the CEO of Dementia Care Matters, a training provider based in the U.K. He suggests that caregivers learn “the language of dementia.”

“People with dementia can’t rely on facts and logic and reasoning and memory,” Sheard said. “They’ve become more heightened in their emotions and if you don’t respond to people’s emotions, that leads to behaviours and the wrong model has then been to approach people living with dementia as if they need behaviour management.”

On Sunday, Sharon’s family ran in her memory at Eau Claire Market in Calgary for the 28th annual Investors Group Alzheimer Walk and Run.

Global News

Sheard cautions against taking what dementia patients say literally because he says that is what may lead to their frustration.

“As you experience dementia and it progresses, you start crossing the bridge into another reality,” Sheard said. “And in that reality, you might be 83 in a nightie in a care home, but where you actually believe you are 40 years old, in a red dress wearing stilettos.”

New Calgary dementia centre expected to ease pressure on emergency rooms

In the past, the medical community was trained to bring the patient back across the bridge to reality, according to Sheard. But he suggests if caregivers accept what their loved ones see as reality, it results in better outcomes for all.

“After you’ll be left with positive loving memories right to the end rather than a sense of a gaping hole in the last few years of her life,” said Sheard.

The 28th annual Investors Group Alzheimer Walk and Run was held Sunday in Calgary. People had the opportunity to write messages about loved ones lost to the disease.

Global News

The Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary said support teams can create communication plans for families based on the individual.

“It’s different for everyone, so it’s good to have a customized plan for your own situation,” said Barb Ferguson, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Calgary.

According the non-profit group, there are 17,000 people living with dementia in Calgary and the surrounding area with these numbers set to double over the next 15 years.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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West Island Cancer Wellness Centre holds first fundraising run in Kirkland – Montreal


Being surrounded by support when you have cancer can make all the difference in the world, as it has for Betty Rodrigues.

“I’m blessed,” she told Global News.  “I have my children, I have my boyfriend and his family, and I’m surrounded by love. A lot of people aren’t.”

Rodrigues is being treated for ovarian cancer and since September, for a few times a week, she gets part of that help at the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre, a yellow house on Barry Street in Kirkland.

West Island Cancer Wellness Centre in Kirkland. (Global News)

New West Island Cancer Wellness Centre opens its doors

“[I do] yoga, the meditation, the reiki massages,” she says.  “And it gets me out of the house and not thinking about what’s happening to me.”

Volunteers at the centre have been giving cancer patients and their families non-medical assistance for more than a decade.  Centre founder and executive director Debbie Magwood says though medical treatments are obviously key, other kinds of treatment are important, too.

“There’s so many other psychosocial components to being diagnosed with cancer that we need to consider,” Magwood said.

But she says the centre needs all the financial help they can get in order to keep going.  That’s why they had their first ever five-kilometre run and walk for families, organized by Surrey House Communications, to raise cash for their services.

WATCH: Focus Montreal: West Island Cancer Wellness Centre

“Counselling services, meditation services, nutrition, yoga classes, massages, things of that nature,” explained Rodrigues’ boyfriend Fernando Dargenio, describing some of those services.  It was partly his idea for Rodrigues to go to the centre.

The event happened on a pedestrian path in Kirkland Saturday afternoon with just over a hundred participants dressed like superheroes — hence the name: “Hero Run.”

Annual walk aims to raise awareness of bladder cancer

“People who donate to us are our heroes because, without them, we couldn’t exist,” said Magwood.

Each participant paid $25.00 to register and all the funds go towards the services.

It didn’t matter to Rodrigues that she was going through treatment.  Because the centre has been so supportive to her and her family, she made up her mind to do the entire walk, so that other cancer patients can benefit from the centre too.

“There’s a lot of love, you know,” Rodriques said. “There’s a lot of love in that little yellow house.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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