Shattered and Sundered – A Film Tribute to Canadian Veterans in WWI

kieran-shattered shotIt’s been exciting to see a project in which my son Kieran is involved take shape this past year.  Filming is about to begin and Director Jeff and his team have been crowd sourcing some financial support in order to make their film as professional as they can – and they’ve met their goal!  This project is a dream come true for Kieran, because although his friend Jeff wrote about his great-grandfather’s experience at Vimy Ridge, Kieran’s own ‘Poppie’, James Orr, survived the Battle of the Somme at age 16 and was a member of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  We spent many Sunday nights listening to Poppie retell his experiences of trying to survive life in the trenches, so to see Kieran depicted in the promo video was a bit haunting.   I’ll never forget my grandfather, responding to something my Mom was NOT going to let me do as a young teenager (the details escape me) — saying “Aach…Kathleen, when I was her age I was in the trenches in France fighting for my life…let her go! ”

We are so proud to see Kieran involved in telling this story – and Poppie would be so proud too!  Thanks so much to the friends and families of these young artists – your contributions are making dreams come true! 🙂

More about the film…and the donation campaign:


Organ Donation – Please Help!

NEW! Since the time of writing this post, organ donation registration is now available online.  Please go to and get registered!

My friend and colleague,  Janet Parr, a Vice-Principal at UGDSB, came to our Program Services meeting today.  I wish I had recorded her message, as I cannot do justice to her amazing story and her mission to promote organ donation.  Janet was telling us about her wait for her new heart…and how we could help!   

Janet has congenital heart disease, as did her own Mom, but she is currently being kept healthy by the mechanical heart that she carries around with her.   She has a husband and a twelve year old daughter and it brought tears to my eyes to hear how she has turned her condition, that would be so depressing to some,  into a hopeful and active quest (and waiting time)…until her new heart arrives.

Today I learned that it’s not enough to be carrying the wallet card about organ donation that I’ve been carrying for years!

I  learned today that the wallet card I’ve been carrying often doesn’t end up in the hands of the doctors caring for me should I be in a life-threatening situation.  I need to let my family know of my wishes to donate my organs and/or tissues upon my death and I need to take one more important step:

I need to go to The Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Website and download the form and mail it in or drop it off at a Service Ontario Centre (online registration is not quite available yet).  This way, the information will go into a huge database and my wishes will be known to hospital personnel and my family should I become unable to share this information.  I’ve mailed mine in tonight.

Please…if Organ Donation is for you, take this extra step to help someone live a full and heathly life.  It’s the greatest gift you could give, and in Janet’s words “it’s a gift that will always be treasured!”