Lisa Lalsingh and Stephanie Isaac are both important, valued volunteers with CHN, and they have made a significant impact on our organization. They also happen to be sisters! We had the opportunity to interview them recently, and we are honoured to share a little bit about them both and what connects them to CHN.
How and why did you initially get involved with CHN?
Lisa: I initially became involved with CHN in 2009, after our first daughter, Mila, was born with congenital heart disease. During one of Mila’s checkups, at the Heart Centre at BC Children’s Hospital, I spotted a CHN newsletter and decided to contact them. As first-time parents, we found ourselves researching resources and navigating an unfamiliar medical system. At times, caring for our baby, who required complex medical care, was isolating for both me and my husband. We reached out to CHN in hopes of connecting with other heart families that understood our experiences and concerns.
Stephanie: I first started volunteering at the CHN Christmas party when Mila was two years old!
What is your proudest contribution to CHN?
Lisa: Our proudest contribution is through Mila’s Fund. Sadly, Mila died when she was four and a half years old. While she was alive, she was too young to attend camp with CHN. However, knowing those opportunities existed for Mila to gain independence and new experiences, while honouring her heart condition, gave us comfort and hope. We started Mila’s Fund to help make camp a reality for all heart children in BC who want to attend, regardless of affordability or where they live.
Stephanie: My proudest contribution is the time I have spent as a Bboard member for CHN. After Mila passed away, I wanted to stay involved and connected to Mila. I was invited to join the board, which I truly enjoy. I also gently nudge family and friends to get involved and donate!
What is your most favourite memory from volunteering at CHN?
Lisa: My favourite memory of volunteering is selling Valentine’s Day chocolates at BC Children’s Hospital to raise funds for CHN. It was a nice change to spend time at the hospital for a festive event. I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other heart parents and to visit with Mila’s doctors and nurses outside of her regular checkups.
Stephanie: I love volunteering at the annual Christmas party, and I get my children and nieces to help as well. It is the only time I get to meet some of our heart families. I also love and look forward to the CHN gala every year.
Outside of your volunteer work, what do you love to do for fun?
Lisa: I love to travel with my family. Our daughters are enthusiastic travellers and are always up for an adventure. Our most recent trip abroad was to Costa Rica in 2019.
Stephanie: Our family got a miniature dachshund puppy in November. Our time is spent training her and finding new places for dog walks and hikes! Before COVID, Lisa and I were learning to knit. I am not so good at doing it on my own!
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
Lisa: It’s no secret, but I love reading. Whenever I finish a good book, I feel a little sad that it’s done. My favourite books are biographies and historical fiction. I could be happy for days with a stack of books and endless mugs of tea.
Stephanie: In the late ’90s, I met a girl from New York on a women/travellers’ website. We met in Singapore and travelled around Southeast Asia together for almost two months! It worked out well, but in hindsight I wouldn’t recommend this!
Thank you both for your incredible service to CHN. We are grateful for all that you do!
“Volunteer Corner: Lisa Lalsingh and Stephanie Isaac” is from our winter 2021 newsletter, Heart Matters. See our Newsletters page for more stories and to subscribe.