What is your job? I’m a certified interior decorator and I’ve owned my own design business for the last 5 years.
What social causes are most important to you? Inequality (LGBTQ rights, especially) and giving back to the community are causes I’m most passionate about.
I donate regularly to a variety of cancer charities, walks, and events, and I volunteered with the Pride Centre at the University of Ottawa when I was a student there. Now that I’m a parent, I’m focusing my efforts on supporting children’s medical issues, especially through CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) where my son had 2 minor surgeries when he was young. Ottawa is lucky to have such an incredible children's hospital nearby.
I also have supported Light the Night which is a walk in support of finding a cure for blood cancers. One of my longtime clients was diagnosed with MDS while we were renovating her main floor. Unfortunately she’s currently in palliative care and in the end stages of her life.
In addition to donations to fundraisers, a designer/friend and I are currently working on a charity design project for a family whose 7 year old son has a non-cancerous inoperative brain tumour. It’s called The WillPower Project because the little boy’s name is William. We’re finishing and decorating their basement so that the whole family can enjoy some downtime together between hospital visits.
Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?
I’ve been looking for a design project like this for a while in honour of a friend who lost her battle with leukaemia when she was 9. I think of her often. Having a sick child can be incredibly taxing on the whole family and it’s just nice to be able to bring some brightness into people’s lives when they're in their darkest moments.
Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
We’re incredibly fortunate to have met our fundraising goal, but everything helps. Any money we don't use goes back to the family to offset parking, childcare for the other two kids, meals out, etc. We’ve got a YouCaring site up at http://www.youcaring.com/other/help-us-help-william-and-his-family-/144463.
How would you define social responsibility?
We’re all in it together. Our job as people should be to help where we can and make other people’s lives better if we have the power to do so. If more people thought that way, there’d be a lot less hatred in the world. When you have enough in life, you give back. It’s as simple as that.
Half sleeve of birds, flowers and butterflies (left arm), crowned sugar skull (left thigh), lock and key owl (right thigh), husband’s name (base of neck) - Milena Fusco, New Moon Tattoo West, Ottawa, On.
Cupcake (right calf) - Tara Timoon, New Moon Tattoo East, Ottawa, On.
V (left wrist - husband has matching tattoo - 5th wedding anniv.) - Jen ?, True North Tattoo, Kingston, On.