In 2012, Doug Mallock’s mother wanted to attend Symposium in New Brunswick. Doug agreed and went with his mother, not knowing what to expect. It was at Symposium that Doug was introduced to the concept of the Young People Affected by Huntington disease (YPAHD) Chapter.
“Volunteering and being a part of YPAHD has allowed me to connect with other people in situations similar to mine,” says Doug. “While my friends are supportive, they can only sympathize and not empathize.”
As VP of YPAHD, Doug travels all over Canada and the United States for youth events and conventions as the YPAHD representative. He is also part of the youth mentorship program and the local New Brunswick HD group where he helps with information sessions and social media.
“I get a real sense of community [through volunteering],” Doug reflects. “I feel like I’m contributing, making a difference and giving back to a community that has done so much for me and my family.”
While contributing and making a difference is Doug’s main driving force to keep volunteering, he is also developing skills like leadership, public speaking and time management.
Doug knows firsthand how scary it is to get involved, but encourages anyone considering volunteering to take that first step.
“You just have to take a chance! Get your foot in the door and just go for it,” Doug insists. “It might be awkward at first and you don’t know anyone yet, but you will get to know lots of amazing people. The reward is worth the risk.”
National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. We are taking the time to celebrate and thank all of our dedicated volunteers in the HD community! We appreciate the contributions of time and effort from all of our incredible volunteers.