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École secondaire publique  Nipissing Ouest teacher Elie Savignac presents WNGH CEO Cynthia Désormiers with a cheque for $6,700.25 for hospital’s oncology deptartment.

by Brad Aubin


Breast cancer awareness month is always a big event in West Nipissing, with many organizations, businesses, and schools joining the fight against the disease. This year, École secondaire publique Nipissing Ouest took on the battle, raising money by raffling a wooden bench made by students, all to fund the purchase of an automatic infusion pump for the local hospital’s oncology department.

The ‘bench of hope’ stems from a year-long humanitarian school project which features monthly activities, all designed to bring students to reflect on their words and actions and the impact they may have on others.

“It’s a project that is school-wide, and that’s volunteered based; we don’t enforce it on the students,” explains teacher Eli Savignac. “Because of that freedom, it makes the buy-in from the student body that much better. Cancer obviously affects individuals but also the whole family. These days, just about everyone can understand that plight.”

Savignac notes how important it is to have our own oncology department right here in West Nipissing, offering chemotherapy so that local people don’t need to travel to North Bay or Sudbury once they get diagnosed. “Your energy is so low when you’re battling cancer. To drive 3 hours in a day just to drive to Sudbury and back is hard on the body. I spoke to WNGH earlier this year and told them that we wanted to do a fundraiser, to do our part for them with an objective in mind.”

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‘Bench of hope’ buys equipment for oncology department