Barrie woman awarded for work with children fighting cancer

A Barrie woman is one of 40 people under 40 in North America to be honored for her work with children fighting cancer.

Jocelyn Leworthy is the Child, Youth and Family Coordinator at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka in Barrie.

She received the 40 Under 40 in Cancer award, presented by the Lynx Group, which is awarded to those who have demonstrated excellence in cancer support.

“It’s an honor to work with and be with families during the most challenging times of their lives,” Leworthy said. “It’s pretty humiliating.”

In her role at the Gilda’s Club, Leworthy takes a tailored approach to young children in explaining their unique situation.

She uses props and performs a medical play to make children more comfortable during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appointments.

“It gives them some predictability and allows them to process things,” Leworthy said. “This is so much fun for them. It allows them to understand that MRIs can be very loud.”

Methods like this are why Gilda’s Club nominated her for the award.

“So many people in life are looking for what to do, and I feel so lucky to have someone who knows what she loves to do and is really great,” said Aaron Lutes, executive director of Gilda’s Club.

While honored and grateful for the award, Leworthy said being able to make a difference in children’s lives is a reward in itself.

“It’s something I don’t think I need credit for because it’s such a rewarding job,” Leworthy said.

Gilda’s Club offers free support groups to help reduce the suffering caused by the disease.

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