Volunteering is the ultimate expression of human connection – people acting selflessly on behalf of their communities driven by a desire to contribute to the greater good and help others.
Our mission is to be a leader in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life. The commitment of time and talent by volunteers allows us to strengthen that mission and make more impactful connections with Canadians affected by MS.
Our National Award Program aims to recognize the impact, innovation and excellence of our most dedicated volunteers.
The 2016 recipients of the National Awards of Achievement are:
National President’s Award
Lizelle Mendoza from Winnipeg, Manitoba
The President’s Award is awarded in recognition of the valuable contribution of a person with MS.
Lizelle Mendoza has accomplished so many amazing things in her work with the MS Society. Her leadership and interpersonal skills are truly awe inspiring. She has made exemplary contributions to MS communities across the country, and she has an exceptional ability to lead by example and educate others.
She is a wonderful role model and we are so grateful to have her
as a leader and advocate for people affected by with MS.
National Opal Award for Caregivers
Gary Pearson from Cornwall, Ontario
The Opal Award for Caregivers recognizes the contributions of those who are or have been caregivers to people with MS.
Gary and his wife, Joan Pearson are truly inspiring individuals. Gary’s life has been dedicated not only to his wife as a care partner, but to advocating on behalf of all Canadians affected by MS. It is obvious that his dedication and commitment are respected by the community and his children.
His lifelong contributions and unseen struggles reflect the power love has to inspire people to conquer the curveballs life throws our way. It’s wonderful to know that there are people who are putting in the hard work required to deal with the challenges presented by MS.
National Award of Merit, Member
Dr. Galina Vorobeychik from Burnaby, British Columbia
The National Award of Merit, Member recognizes outstanding contributions by a member of the MS Society of Canada whose volunteer activities have had an impact on a national or nationwide basis.
Dr. Galina Vorobeychik has demonstrated her commitment to the MS Community through selflessly providing accessible and high quality care to those in need.
Her vision for a clinic which offers support to people living
with MS and introduce them to a collaborative care team makes it
less overwhelming and easy to access the care they need. The fact
that she has chosen to become a leader in health care shows what
can be done when someone uses their abilities to help others.
National Award of Merit, Non-Member
Carl Sketchley from Surrey, British Columbia
The National Award of Merit, Non-Member recognizes outstanding contributions by a non-member of the MS Society of Canada whose volunteer activities have had an impact on a national or nationwide basis.
A proud Maritimer who grew up on one of the many beautiful coasts of Nova Scotia, I have Bachelor in Kinesiology from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor. When I’m not chasing my two little boys around the wonderful beaches of NS, I’m cheering hard for Canada’s Toronto Raptors.
Carl Sketchley’s commitment to the cause is an example of what the MS Society was founded on, and his dedication is why he is deserving of this award.
It’s inspiring to see how much time he has so generously put in to improving the lives of Canadians affected by MS. His brilliant communications skills and his clever use of media demonstrate Carl’s ability to be a leader behind the scenes.
For many people who have lost someone to MS, Carl serves as a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit and what it is capable of.