Category Archives: Health

Dental hygienist helps patients in the Dominican Republic

Stittsville’s Shannon Helleman (pictured above with a patient) spent a week in the Dominican Republic, but she didn’t go for a vacation. A dental hygienist by profession, Helleman joined Health Teams International, a Christian organization that provides individuals living in poor countries with free healthcare clinics. Last month, she was a part of an 11-person team that worked in the outskirts of Cabarete, Dominican Republic.  Christine Vezarov spoke with her recently about the experience. Continue reading


Unique aqua physio clinic opens on Iber

PHOTO: Hydrathletics co-owner and manager Shawna Emmott along with founder Joe Stilwell. Photo by Devyn Barrie.

“Taking the weight off, taking the pressure off… it allows people that have major injuries that can’t do anything on land, to do it in the water.”

Aqua-based physiotherapy has long been popular for pro athletes, and the owners of a new gym in Stittsville hope to bring it into the mainstream in our community.

The Stittsville location of Hydrathletics opened Monday at 154 Iber Road.  Continue reading


LINKED: Sacred Heart student recovers from stroke after hockey hit

Here’s a story from Devyn Barrie at Stittsvegas:

A rough hit during a hockey game resulted in a stroke less than 24 hours later for one Sacred Heart Student.

Ben Harford, 17, was discharged from CHEO last Wednesday following a one week stay. He said on Saturday he is in high spirits and feels fine, save a few headaches.

“There’s no permanent damage,” he said, “… Back about a day ago I got all my vision back, that was the last thing that was holding me back.”

“When I was playing hockey, my head got hit in a funny direction,” he recounted,” And a little artery in the back of my head got cut … I didn’t know it at the time but there was a blood clot forming in the back of my head.”

Full story here…


New medical lab opens on Stittsville Main

Rapid population growth and a large senior population convinced Dynacare to open a new medical lab on Stittsville Main Street.

The new location at 1609 Stittsville Main Street (next to Greco)  opened Monday, with a staff of three.

Manager Linda Poulin tells the clinic hired local people to staff it and plans to expand the operation as it acquires more patients. She says it currently only offers bloodwork and sample testing. Continue reading


LETTER: GoFundMe for 8-year-old girl’s surgery

I’m hoping that some of you will be able to help!  A dear friend of mine (and fellow Stittsville mom Jen Martin) will be bringing her daughter to Ohio for a surgery for congenital nystagmus.  Unfortunately, this surgery is not offered in Canada, nor will it be covered by OHIP despite attempts to have it covered!  We have started a GoFundMe page to help Jen cover some costs.  Please find it in your hearts to help Makenna get this life changing surgery!  Jen, Makenna and I thank you!

Angel Boyer
Stittsville Continue reading


Stittsville rallies to raise funds for Michael Meehan

The Stittsville community continues to rally to raise funds for Michael Meehan, the nine-year-old Stittsville boy who’s been diagnosed for the second time with Leukemia.

Next up is a benefit on Saturday, January 23 at the Johnny Leroux Arena. It’s sponsored by Brown’s Your Independent Grocer, with bar services provided by the Stittsville Lions Club and entertainment from Quality Entertainment.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by emailing Peter Vukovic at He’s a member of the Guardian Angels School Parent Council.

Friends of the family have also set up a GoFundMe page, and as of Friday night they’ve raised over $12,000 of their $20,000 goal. He’s undertaking clinical trials as part of a new treatment in Montreal, and the money raised will help reduce the financial stress on the family during this time.

Here’s a note from the GoFundMe page:

Michael Meehan was born with Down Syndrome and a rare brain malformation, Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. He was first diagnosed with leukemia in January 2013 after complaining about pain in his side. Michael had just started ski lessons so his parents at first thought it was simply some kind of related soreness. But when the pain persisted, they took him to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Despite that treatment, which demanded two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, Michael managed to help raise more than $45,000 for CHEO, and represent both the hospital and the Canadian Cancer Society as a community ambassador. That work earned him national recognition in March as one of five “heroes” selected by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

Earlier this year, with his cancer officially in remission, Michael had his implanted medicine port removed and rang the end-of-treatment bell at CHEO.

But during a routine blood test in mid-October, doctors discovered Michael’s leukemia had returned. Michael began painful Chemotherapy sessions at CHEO hospital.

Recently, the Meehan’s discovered that Michael wasn’t reacting to the Chemotherapy. The doctor’s suggested Michael begin a new treatment called CAR-T cell therapy which is offered in Montreal, Quebec.

Michael and the Meehan family are now preparing for yet another long and painful fight with new treatment and hopes for Michael’s recovery.

During this entire battle Michael has had a smile on his face and has inspired many of us to stay positive and keep fighting until the battle is won.

Meehan benefit flyer/poster


NOTEBOOK: Flewellyn-Jones house could be home to a PTSD wellness centre

Interesting discussion today at City Hall around the impacts of heritage designation, and a great example of a creative compromise.

A group of seven therapists want to transform the Flewellyn-Jones house into a wellness centre, treating people with post-tramautic stress disorder (PTSD) including Canadian soldiers.

The therapist group was close to finalizing a purchase of the property from the Jones family late in 2015,  but put the deal on hold when they found out that city staff was recommending heritage designation for the 19th century stone house and adjacent apple orchard.

Continue reading


Kanata gets region’s first combined Curves / Jenny Craig franchise

Barb Kerzner and Shannon Graham inside the new combined Curves-Jenny Craig location in Kanata.
Barb Kerzner and Shannon Graham inside the new combined Curves-Jenny Craig location in Kanata.

Over the past few weeks renovations have been underway at the corner of Hazeldean and Castlefrank for Curves/Jenny Craig in Kanata as owner Barb Kerzner and staff open the first combined Curves/Jenny Craig franchise in Ottawa.

Kerzner has been operating Jenny Craig at the location for a while, but says that the combined concept lets them bring together fitness, nutrition and weight loss all under one roof.  For more information, call 613-254-5704 or email

You can also like them on Facebook.


LETTER: Gaming marathon raises money for CHEO

Video games are a favourite and growing pastime for young and old alike. I’ve personally been a gamer for over 35 years now and I can’t imagine my free time without them. But what if gamers could turn our hobby into something that’s not just fun but that also does good for sick kids around the world? You may not be familiar with Extra Life but it’s exactly that! Continue reading


Qadri hosts “Keep Stittsville Healthy” event on October 24

(via Shad Qadri)

On October 24th please join me and various public health experts starting at 10:00 a.m. upstairs in the Johnny Leroux Stittsville Community Arena for the Keep Stittsville Health event.

As the Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health, I along with Ottawa Public Health have been putting together this event that focuses on health information pertaining to issues residents have brought forward to my attention. Such topics as Parenting in Ottawa, mental health, healthy eating and vaccination are included.

Some fun activities on hand:

  • Try SMOOCH the bicycle powered smoothie machine! Pedal up a delicious non-dairy concoction of fresh fruit, juice and frozen field berries using renewable human power!
  • Taste delicious samples from Ottawa Public Health Community Food Advisor who will be on site providing healthy snack food demonstrations and education on Canada’s Food Guide.
  • healthy3Phiz, Ottawa Public Health’s physical activity mascot will be on hand. Parents bring out your wee ones and join a Salsa Tots or Salsa Kids Latin Dance Fiesta!
  • Young students can grade 1 to 12 can participate in an artwork challenge to be featured in Ottawa Public Health’s 2015 Annual Report.
  • Ottawa Public Library will be on hand with reading corner for interactive story time sessions including story reading, rhymes and songs around healthy living.
  • There will be light refreshments available. I hope you will join me in keeping Stittsville healthy!

I hope you will join me in keeping Stittsville healthy!


Boil Water Advisory for King’s Park residents in Richmond

(via the City of Ottawa)

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has issued a precautionary Boil Water Advisory for users of the King’s Park communal well water system in the village of Richmond. The advisory is being issued due to an equipment malfunction which has resulted in a loss of water pressure in the area.  This advisory affects approximately 215 water users and is in effect until further notice.

City staff are on location delivering notices to affected residents.

Water users in the affected area are asked to bring their water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for all consumption purposes, including drinking, making juice, ice and infant formula, as well as for use in food preparation.

After boiling, the water should be left to cool before being used, or it should be placed in clean containers to cool in the refrigerator. Boiled water should be used when brushing teeth. Boiled water should also be used to rinse dishes after washing. Other non-consumption uses, such as showering, are safe.

If you are unable to boil water, you should consume only bottled water.  More info available here: What you should know during a boil water advisory.

This advisory will be rescinded once Ottawa Public Health is satisfied that water quality has been restored and tap water is safe to drink.  Bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute will kill the microorganisms.

Additional information is available at, or by calling 3-1-1, or Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.  You can also connect with Ottawa Public Health on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).


Karaoke for Cancer Awareness on September 26

Sue Lambe and Bill Martin, two local real estate agents with Century 21, are are hosting a fundraiser Karaoke for Cancer Awareness on Sept 26th from 8-12, upstairs at the Stittsville Legion,.

Many local area businesses have donated silent auction items, and if you or someone you know are able to donate something for the auction it would be welcomed with open arms, We will be acknowledging all our sponsors with a printed banner at the event and encourage those in attendance and online to keep you in mind when shopping for goods and services.  There will be complimentary food on site, individuals can purchase beverages from the Legion for a small cost.

You can find more info on the event’s Facebook page.



Hair Donation Ottawa gives over $126,000 to local hospitals

(Press release via CHEO Foundation and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.)

Hair Donation Ottawa, an annual, non-profit cancer research fundraiser held in April, raised $126,000 for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO and organizers present a cheque to the researchers it supports earlier today.

Continue reading


How a food blog evolved into a ready-to-eat meal service

(Above: Philip Munk and Alana Thomson. Photo by Barry Gray.)

What began as a personal online cookbook has turned into Stittsville’s new healthy meal prep service, Healthy Balance.

Alana Thomson was a personal trainer before she started focusing more on nutrition. Thomson created a food blog that soon received a large following begging her to provide them with more recipes and healthy creations. When she connected with her business partner Philip Munk, a professional chef and an amateur athlete, Healthy Balance was created. Continue reading


PHOTOS: Sacred Heart relay raises nearly $17k

Sacred Heart High School students hosted their first-ever Relay for Life fundraising event on Friday and it was a big success, raising at least $16,800 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Despite cold and windy weather, participants walked laps draped in blankets and huddled together to stay warm.

The day started off with an opening ceremony where a few survivors from the community shared their cancer stories and led the first lap around the track.

A luminary ceremony started once it got dark that had almost everyone in tears. Students shared what it was like to watch their loved ones battle cancer and in some cases die from the disease.

“It was very emotional and touching to see how many students are affected by cancer and it just goes to show how all the participants were there for the right reason: they were there to fight back, to honour the survivors and remember those who lost their battle,” wrote Grade 12 student Anna Ploeg in an email to

“By the end of the evening all participants felt close as if we were all a little family. Students approached me and thanked me for the amazing day and told me that they were for sure going to participate again next year and recruit more of their friends to join too,” wrote Ploeg.

“The relay committee and myself owe a big thank you to our corporate sponsors. To OzDome for their fantastic facility and being so incredibly accommodating, they have already promised to host Sacred’s Relay event next year! To Giant Tiger who were so willing and excited to help the cause, Giant Tiger donated a generous amount and Friendly the tiger stopped by to say hello to all the students. And finally Combat Networks who also gave a generous donation and helped sort the cans for the food banks that students brought with to the sign in tent, staff from the company stopped by several times throughout the evening and offered to help with anything that needed to get done,” wrote Ploeg.

Although the event is over, students are still collecting donations. people can still donate online.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.
Anna Ploeg speaks to Relay for Life participants.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life. Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.



CITIZEN: Stittsville mom recovering from flesh-eating disease

The Ottawa Citizen has a story about Stittsville’s Susan Brayshaw, who is recovering from flesh-eating disease:

A Stittsville mother recovering from flesh-eating disease wants nothing more than to carry her seven-week-old baby.

Susan Brayshaw, 38, ended up in the hospital with knee pain four days after she gave birth on March 22 to her son, Jackson, at home with the help of two midwives and a doula.

Doctors don’t believe the disease is linked in any way to the birth and wasn’t passed on to her baby.

“It’s hard because I can’t do the little things,” Brayshaw said Wednesday evening. “I can’t walk up and down the hall. I can’t go for a stroller walk with him.

“Everything a mother wants to do I can’t. He doesn’t know any difference, but it still hurts.”

Read the full story…

Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.
Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.