Article from 2022/2023 Impact of Giving Annual Report
ChIPS has truly lived up to its vision of being a support system for young people who are navigating the complex and often isolating world of chronic illness.
One individual who embodies the profound influence of ChIPS is Felipe, a former ChIPPER from the early 2000s who has now transitioned into a dedicated program volunteer.
Reflecting on the pivotal role ChIPS plays in the lives of young people, Felipe shared: “ChIPS is an outlet for young people to be able to grow and evolve during those adolescent years, the tricky time that everyone goes through. The program allows them to step away from the hospital because you’re coming to ChIPS to do non-hospital things.”
“When I was a part of the program, I met two of my closest friends that ended up getting married, and I was the man of honour. Without ChIPS, this wouldn’t have happened. The program is life changing – whether that be meeting someone to spend your life with or just meeting a friend,” Felipe added.
Felipe recalls one of the best memories from ChIPS was at a car show in the early 2000s. The highlight of the day was getting to play a pre-released car racing game, but the real excitement came when the ChIPPERS had the chance to
dance for the opportunity to be in the car with a stunt driver.
“We were in a crowd of hundreds of people. So we all danced, and the crowd cheered for who they thought should win.
I ended up winning, so I got to be in the car with the stunt driver. It was really cool – he did a reverse spin, donuts, and a wheelie on two wheels. This memory is always in my mind – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Who else can say they were in a stunt car and got to do all this?”
Once Felipe had graduated from the program, remaining involved with ChIPS as a volunteer was an easy decision for him to make. “Saying yes is the biggest thing, to each and every opportunity. Nothing bad comes from saying yes.”
“ChIPS is everything to these young people. For me, it made coming to the hospital feel good – I was able to separate myself and disconnect from the medical side of things. To those who support the hospital and ChIPS, keep supporting this life changing program,” Felipe shared.