by Rhonda Massad
Employees helping cancer patients one backpack at a time
by Rhonda Massad
Every 12 hours in Montreal an adolescent or young adult learns they have cancer. VOBOC is a community group that reaches out to those victims of cancer from 13 to 39 years old with a mission to improve the experiences and outcomes of these youth in our community.
Pro-Tam, a West Island packaging firm was touched by cancer and joined forces with VOBOC to give back. On April 27, the Pro-Tam team helped assemble VOBOC backpacks at their production facility in Pointe Claire.
According to Tammy Hebert, owner of Pro-Tam and member of VOBOC’s Board of Directors, her firm and its’ employees have had firsthand experience with VOBOC and its positive affect on the community and wanted to contribute to VOBOC in a meaningful way.
“The Pro-Tam team wanted to help raise awareness for VOBOC a charity dedicated to serving adolescents and young adults (AYA) that have been living with cancer,” Hebert explained. “AYAs are the cancer group that VOBOC has been dedicated to serving for the past 15 years.”
Pro-Tam signed up for the VOBOC Employee Engagement Program which offers a team activity in which employees help VOBOC pack Vo-Paks for delivery to newly diagnosed AYAs on their first day of cancer treatment.
Each Vo-Pak is filled with the tools, resources and practical items that AYAs need as they undergo cancer treatment. Included in the VO-PAK is a comfort kit and Venturing out kit. The comfort kit provides everything a young person needs for an overnight hospital stay. Pyjamas, slippers, blanket, water bottle, T shirt and of course the VOBOC mascot lion stuffed animal symbolizing courage.
Vo-Paks are delivered to the Lakeshore General Hospital and to McGill University affiliated hospitals in Montreal and are a gift given by the oncology team as they greet their young patients on their first day of cancer treatment.
More information about VOBOC can be found at www.voboc.org