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It’s easy to make assumptions about people based on their academic accomplishments, professional successes, or philanthropic contributions. But sometimes if you pull back the curtain, you discover untold depths and hardships that reveal a more valuable story than a five-sentence biography can.
People 85 and older make up Canada’s fastest-growing population segment, increasing at nearly four times the rate of the total. Also growing quickly is the number of evidence-based tools and strategies to help them live longer, happier, and more fulfilling lives, which is good news, since the size of this group will triple over the next few decades.
Dr. Manon Charbonneau remembers the day vividly, though she’d rather forget it.
“So that’s it, then — cancer,” she recalls saying in disbelief with her eyes locked on the digital images of her mammogram. The radiologist confirmed the diagnosis, and in a moment her world was “completely dismantled.”
I reached Ian Morrison at his office at the Regina branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). A graduate of the Humber College comedy writing program, he teaches people how to harness their experiences — with mental illness and life in general — into stand-up comedy routines.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he said. “Just tell jokes, make people laugh.”