About Zach (as told by Karla):
Zach has always been thoughtful, with a strong moral code and fierce independence. As he grew up, his father and I traveled extensively for work and Zach was exposed to many different cultures and ideas. His curiosity and drive to do good led to long conversations about world issues well before he reached high school. He would ask smart, pointed questions about topics his dad and I were discussing.
These talks led to Zach sitting for 2 years on the Halton Youth Committee for Mental Health. Together we both have been trained in Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills. I also joke that he was a feminist before I even really understood how to be one.
Zach’s mission in life has always been to see the world from multiple perspectives. Whether that be scuba diving, boating, or flying. Zach is an old soul who has taught me lessons on love, kindness, self-esteem and why the world still needs me to fight my cancer like the badass I am.
About Karla (as told by Zach):
My mom had a very successful corporate career at an early age and still is renowned for her innovativeness, out-of-the-box thinking and never being afraid to try new approaches. She then transitioned into entrepreneurship, launching her first business on her return to Canada. My mom has been fighting in that arena for over a decade now and although she has been cut and bruised, she has only become stronger and wiser.
I should probably mention my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in October 2018, but who gives a shit. My mother has not let that define her and strives to live a productive life that works towards aiding others and provoking change. She is actively working with the Child Welfare PAC, an initiative focused on foster care reform. One of the causes close to both our hearts is Mental Health Awareness and Support.
The world needs more people like my mom – people who lead with giving and kindness and genuinely want to be become better every passing day.