Visit to McGill University

by Helene Louise  

This week I was truly delighted to have the opportunity to speak to a class of students at McGill University's School of Physical and Occupational Therapy. I wasn't sure what to expect or what the reaction might be—it's been decades since I was last in a university classroom. But, it was a wonderful experience and I am very grateful both for how warmly I was received and for the interest the students and professors showed in what I had to say. 

Besides sharing my experience navigating the rehabilitation network in trying to help my daughter after a childhood stroke, I talked about the power I believe each and every one of them will have as they begin working in a clinical setting. As I wrote in A Little More Light For the Seaweed, what I've learned through this experience is the value of the little things—how our words and our actions, unexpected moments of understanding and compassion, can make the difference between frustration and hope, despair and perseverance, failure and success.

I hope my story will serve as a reason, as I said earlier this week, to always be conscious not to inadvertently be discouraging to those we are trying to help. And, to leave open the possibility that there might be a little bit of hope, even if we can't see it. I certainly feel very hopeful for the future having met such bright, sensitive and engaged young therapists-to-be.

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