TOPIC: STORIES FROM ALBERTA

First Person

When I learned to see cancer as my friend and teacher, I started to really live again

More Canadians are living longer with cancer, and Maria Carmona is one of them. She found a way to embrace life again when she let go of the battle metaphor and refocused.
First Person

My wife got cancer and I couldn't fix it. Finally I learned that's not what's required

Miguel Salinas trained as an engineer. He likes to tackle problems and fix them. But that approach didn’t work when his wife got cancer.
First Person

A Ukrainian refugee taught me what an incredible gift it is to help others

More than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have already landed in Canada, many relying on strangers for help. In Calgary, Christy Turner invited a young woman to stay with her and discovered a new sense of hope and purpose.
First Person

Trauma was my gateway drug. Love was my pathway back

Maria Volk shares a raw account of how she fell into addiction over the grief of losing her brother and what it took to find the strength to recover.
First Person

What if I wet the bed? At 84, I tackle my fears and face aging head on

What does it take to age well? For Sheilah Bissett, the key was to stop and face her new limitations head on. Then, she could embrace what she can still do.
First Person

Nine years and 15 jobs — the endless cycle is eating at my confidence

A steady job has eluded Merina Shrestha since she immigrated from Nepal to Calgary. She says she wasn’t prepared for how much of the labour market in Canada is based on precarious work.
First Person

I've taken trains in many countries. I've only been scared here, on my ride home

After a particularly terrifying late-night journey, Davin Tikkala wonders how many safety cracks in Edmonton’s LRT aren’t making the news
First Person

I love nursing in the cardiac ICU. But I worry the system itself will flatline

A skilled, lifesaving ballet — that’s how Heather Haberli sees the work of her cardiac intensive care team. But for the past two years, she says it felt like the health-care system and her coping mechanisms are collapsing.
First Person

Memories don't make me who I am. That's what I learned from amnesia

When Michael Dalla Costa looks at old photos, it feels like they belong to someone else. But living with amnesia, he’s discovered people are more than their memories.
First Person

For one year, I desperately chased sleep. Once I stopped trying, it found me

Saniya Warwaruk tried — and abandoned — pills, potions and breathing exercises in her year-long battle with insomnia. Finally, she realized her own anxiety about not sleeping was fuelling the flames.
Opinion

Karate teaches us the obligations we have to others. COVID reinforced why that's important

As a student and teacher of karate, Doug Aoki has learned about hard work, discipline and what it means to be part of a community.
First Person

I grew up in a trailer park — and I wouldn't change a thing

As she says goodbye to her family’s home of 22 years, Erin Mick reflects on the life lessons she came by growing up in a trailer park.
First Person

Smashing open my childhood piggy bank showed me how to live courageously

Smashing open her bright pink ceramic piggy bank to pay for her family's food — that’s what taught Anna du Plessis that she had the strength and courage to overcome anything.
First Person

I was proud to work in oil and gas. But with layoffs and wage cuts, all I cared about was my crew

Dave Mackenzie supervised welding crews that built massive steel structures for oil and gas fields. But with so many layoffs in a struggling industry, he reflects on what his career and crew meant to him.
First Person

My low-income community doesn't deserve stigma. It's an amazing place to raise my family

“That school?” Manorama Patki and her family put up with the scorn of others, because they found Calgary’s northeast quadrant to be an amazing community where her daughter could thrive.
First Person

Coming to Canada to start a new life meant choosing mementoes from my old one

When Giselle General and her brother immigrated to Canada from the Philippines as teens, it meant making decisions on what mementoes they wanted to bring with them.
First Person

Should I pay for gas or buy fresh fruit for my kids? These are my impossible choices

Danielle Barnsley was living paycheque to paycheque, but it was manageable. However, with rising inflation, her bills — and stress levels — are no longer sustainable.
First Person

I loved being a teacher. Who am I now that an illness forced me to leave?

Lisa Schoeler was the kind of person who built her identity around being a teacher. When bipolar disorder forced her to go on medical leave, it forced her to reckon with who she was becoming.
First Person

My autistic son collects bottles to save axolotls, and inspires me to do better by kids like him

Jason Wyatt's son, William, has autism and ADHD. That makes him see the world differently and, in turn, has got Jason rethinking his role as a parent and teacher.
First Person

We kept to ourselves. Until a knock at my door and a little courage opened my world

As newcomers to Canada, Sukhwant Parmar’s family kept to themselves. But she craved a wider connection to her new home.
First Person

What I found — and lost — in foster care

As a child, Shaylene Lakey experienced waves of shame at feeling relieved to be placed in a foster home — and not with her dad whom she loves but was not able to give her a stable childhood.
First Person

Autism makes me great at my job, but horrible at interviews

When stage manager Henry Gordon looks back at his career, he realized that his autism got in the way of his interviews.
First Person

The love of my life died. My grief had to take a back seat to putting food on the table for my kids

Wendy Powell never imagined grieving her husband's death would be so hard or last so long. She also didn’t know if she was strong enough to cope with her grief while building a future for her family.
First Person

At age 29, illness shattered my dreams. And I wasn't the sick one

Jason Miller dreamed of a life with a good career, a loving partner and family. But when his wife, Jennifer, was diagnosed pulmonary embolism, it changed the trajectory of their life and their relationship when he became a young caregiver.
First Person

My eating disorder told me fat was bad. Healing taught me to accept my body

Ever since childhood, Karli Jahn believed there were good bodies and bad ones. A thin body was the epitome of good; the bad Karli was not. Today, with professional help, she is on a process of self-acceptance.

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