Damion: ‘I never knew how much I could love a dog.’

Coming soon to CBC Gem.

Damion is a 15-year-old cancer survivor who lives a quiet and isolated life. When he was eight, he received radiation treatment — it left him with physical and emotional scars. 

Through a service dog training program offered at his high school, Damion finds a sense of purpose. His story shows us how the love and companionship of an animal can help a person navigate life.

Since Red Button...

Damion is in his last year of high school. He's interested in learning about careers that will allow him to work with dogs. 

Resources

Kids Cancer Care (1 888 554 2267) provides support for children and their families facing childhood cancer, diagnosis and beyond.

Kids Health Alliance Kids Health Alliance is a not-for-profit network of partners working to create a child- and family-centred, high quality, consistent, coordinated approach to pediatric care.

Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) offers support and information for people with cancer and their family, friends and caregivers.

Canines in the Classroom (705-734 - 2673) gives high school students who face challenges that may prevent them from graduating from high school an opportunity to learn how to train service dogs.

Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario champions childhood cancer care on behalf of the childhood cancer community.

Kids Help Phone (1-800-688-6868) is a 24/7 national counselling hotline for youth. From Wednesday to Sunday, a counsellor is available online or through the Always There mobile app. Hours are 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. EST.

To call a crisis centre, Your Life Counts and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) have comprehensive lists of centres across Canada that are operating help lines. 

BeanBagChat allows young people (aged 16 - 29) to speak with another young peer supporter about whatever's on their mind, from the comfort of their own device.

Youth Space runs online and text messaging counselling every night, from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. PST. Services are free, but texting rates may apply.

YouthInBC.com provides youth resources on their website and an online chat service where you can chat 1-on-1 with a trained volunteer, operated by the Crisis Centre of BC.

Mental Health Services (1-866-531-2600) connects callers with mental health and addiction resources in Ontario. They can be reached by phone, email, or web chat. Their search engine has a database of relevant services and organizations in the province.

The Native Youth Crisis Hotline (1-877-209-1266) is available for any First Nations youth in crisis or looking for referrals.

Naseeha (1-866-627-3342) is a helpline for Muslim youth across North America, available weekday nights.

Season 2 episodes