Why the name Bask in the Sun

This is my son, Samuel. He passed away of tay sachs at 17 months young. I have mentioned him lots, because he is my inspiration. The name Bask in the Sun is because of him. As he got worse, he always felt charged and refreshed with some sun light. We would take him out and he would lean back and take it all in.

On every occasion, it gave him more strength to continue through the days. In his final week, even in an extremely weakened state, you could see him move and get energy from the sun. I feel the two things that kept him going like he did was the love of his family and friends, as well as the energy from enjoying the sun. Both those gave him so much clarity, strength and purpose to carry on as best he could.

Those who know him know his story of how long he lasted on so little near the end. See, like you I have experienced some tough things in life. A career that wore me out and seemed to not go as planned. I did so much, yet it did not seem rewarding, it was hurting my family, it was crippling me. Before Samuel was born I had an injury that changed me. I could no longer run, play hockey or mountain bike. Basic things now all became something of a chore.

In the end, this may have been my grace. It slowed me down, kept me home and made me ready for when my son came. It kept me home for my entire family, for Samuel and for me to experience it all. My son passed, eventually I left my military career because I could no longer deploy, however by then life had thrown me down and I was on my way up to something new. I was starting to see that a little boy who had it so bad, was full of love, energy and an inspiration for me. What I felt I could not ignore. I have learned so much in my life and experienced just as many things as well. With all the love I just learned and the lessons brought forward in my life, I had to share it, I feel it is important to help ease others suffering in some way. I am now basking in my sun, growing strength every day to make the world a better place for me, my family and hopefully others as well.

Charities Supported

Life is more than just us, giving back always brings a better sense of connection to our community and to the world in some way. Having also experienced the suffering I have and come out better, it is only right to help others with getting better as well. Would the world not be better if we all tried to give a little to something more than ourselves? I understand, you cannot give to everything and there is a lot of need out there. For me, I search for something in my community and then my big things. Yes, every once in awhile there is the thing not in my normal realm of giving back, sometimes you just have to “chip into the hat” for a cause that comes up. You do not have to give everything, just pick what you can do, pick something you do wisely, pick something that makes you feel good, pick something that you believe can help, please just pick something though.

For me, I have three core charities that I support. They mostly stem from the experiences I faced with my son. So, because of that, I have three core charities I help, I then try to help out in my community and lastly, I always keep my eye out for the other thing, something that I just give a little too to lend a compassionate hand.


Cure Tay Sachs Foundation:

The Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation is dedicated to funding the on-going research needed to find treatments and a cure for Tay-Sachs Disease.


National Tay Sachs and Allied Diseases:

National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD) is one of the oldest patient advocacy groups in the United States. They focus on funding research, supporting over 500 families and individuals worldwide, and raising awareness to prevent disease.

Today, NTSAD is recognized as a leading non-profit patient group with a demonstrated commitment to service, science and support.  NTSAD gives help and hope to thousands of individuals and families from many backgrounds and ethnicities who have been or are affected by Tay-Sachs, Canavan and related genetic diseases all over the world.


Roger Neilson House in Ottawa:

Roger Neilson House enriches the lives of children, youth and their families facing progressive life limiting illnesses. Roger Neilson House was built in memory of Roger Neilson — Hockey Hall of Fame Coach and Member of the Order of Canada.

Our team provides respite, end of life, transition to home support, symptom management, perinatal care and bereavement care by ensuring individualized physical, emotional, and spiritual support in a caring, compassionate and continuous learning environment.

My Community Involvement

Skate for Sammy: Skate for Sammy is a charity event that was started for my family to help ease some financial burden and see how the community cared for us. It was so rewarding, my family decided to carry it on and continue to help other families. We have done two more over the last few years, helping two other families with sick kids. We have also grown it to bring in more funding, more support to the families and raise awareness to those in the community about the diseases of the kids and the resources out there to help families. This event was in honour of my son and a passion of ours to help give back to other families in need.


Minor Hockey. I have been involved as Coach, Trainer, Manager and executive on the board of a hockey association. This is my part to ensure that my kids and other kids have a fun and safe time playing such a great sport, hopefully instilling values of leadership, team work, fitness, passion and fun, into our youth to help them grow.

As part of my community involvement, I continue to work on projects and activities that will help others in my community and look for new ways where my experience and abilities can make other’s lives better.


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