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Hemophilia Ontario - Commemoration 2012

Commemorative Tree Plantings

Hemophilia Ontario has added another member to the family of trees across the province that commemorate the Tainted Blood Tragedy.  The most recent planting took place on Saturday October 20th at YMCA Camp Wanakita.

The Remembering Tree - By Eric Stolte

The tree that has just been planted is a special tree.  In the program it's called a Tree of Life.  But today, I'd like to call it a 'Remembering Tree'.  After today, we can come back here to this spot and remember something special.  Some things are easy to remember, other things are hard.  Some memories we like to think about.  Other memories we like to forget, because they are about something sad.  But sometimes, these sad memories can be the most important!

This Remembering Tree is meant to help us remember a very sad time in our hemophilia community.  We had trusted certain people to keep our factor product which we use to stop bleeds safe.  But, these people let us down.  So, some people who we loved very much died.  This made us very sad and also angry.  So we used our sadness and anger to make things better - to make our factor products safe, so no one would have to worry anymore about using their factor product.  And we did! Now, our products are safe.  This Remembering Tree will help us keep remembering this sad time to help us make sure that we continue to work hard so that no one else will ever be hurt in the same way.

But also, this Remembering Tree will grow strong and tall.  It will have many more branches and leaves.  Strong branches and many leaves.  This will remind us that we who have hemophilia or other bleeding disorders need to continue to grow strong together so that we can help others.  Just like a tall, strong tree, a tree with strong branches and many leaves provides shelter for birds and shade for people, we need to grow strong together so that we can help others too.  This is because there are many people with hemophilia around the world that don't yet have the kind of care that we do.  Many of them have lots of pain in their elbows and knees and have to use crutches to get around.  So, this tree reminds us that together we can be strong to help get care and treatment for those who don't yet have it like we do.

This Remembering Tree will help us remember two things.  It will help us remember a very sad time so that we'll continue to work hard so no one gets hurt ever again.  It will also help us remember that in growing strong, we can use our strength to help others who don't have what we have.

Make sure you come here often enough so that this Remembering Tree can do its job of helping us remember these two very important things.

2012 Commemorative Tree Planting

A quote from one of the presenters:
“I also wanted to thank you for the opportunity to be part of such a special event and play a role in the tree ceremony. I never realized how much this would mean to me, knowing that my father in law has Hep C until I was put in that position. It really hit home as you saw and I am grateful for that. “

SWOR continues to build the forest of trees planted in the region to commemorate the tainted blood tragedy. This year our ceremony was held during the Just the Guys weekend at the YMCA Outdoor Centre. Just the Guys has been at the same location for ten years and the ceremony was planned by Ryan Kleefman, Youth Leader for the weekend and member of the SWOR Council.

The tainted blood tragedy has impacted the families and communities of South Western Ontario in many different ways. The ceremony focused on this impact from the perspectives of the grandfather, father, son, and future generations. Participants during the weekend were invited to play each of these roles and present their unique perspective of the tainted blood tragedy. This was a moving ceremony with the full participation of everyone attending Just the Guys.