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Inside Story: Laura Valois and Katrina Milich, Cancer Exercise summer students at Westerkirk House

This summer, Wellspring Westerkirk House is lucky to have two students volunteering in the Cancer Exercise program.  This volunteer position provides a hands on learning experience for students in the field and allows our Cancer Exercise leaders to have an extra pair of ears and eyes on the floor helping our members.

Their key areas of responsibility include:

  • Assisting with setting up and cleaning up the exercise room as required
  • Assisting members to navigate their individual program as directed by the Exercise Leader
  • Watching the floor for anyone who is doing exercises improperly or unsafely
  • Providing spotting for members as designated by the Exercise Leaders
  • Providing demonstrations of exercises as directed by the Exercise Leaders
  • Ensuring that exercise equipment is cleaned as often as possible between members
  • Maintain confidentiality of participant files

Laura Valois is going into her fourth and final year of the Honours Kinesiology program at McMaster University. After completing her undergrad she will be applying to a Masters of Physiotherapy program which is another two years of school. Her goal is to graduate with a MSc and take a final exam to become a registered physiotherapist.

“I wanted to volunteer at Wellspring in the Exercise Program because I knew it would be a great experience and opportunity to build my knowledge and understand of a field that is very similar to what I am interested in doing as a career. The Wellspring Exercise Program is a one of a kind, specialized program and I feel very lucky to be involved and work alongside such great program leaders and volunteers with such expertise. Being a volunteer is amazing because I get to watch and help the members push themselves to complete their individualized programs while still getting to engage with them in an enjoyable setting. Seeing the members leave with a sense of strength and accomplishment every week is inspiring and gratifying.”


Katrina Milich is going into her fourth year of Kinesiology at Western University. She is still figuring out what she wants to do after undergrad but hopes this volunteer opportunity will provide some insight.

“I was looking for more hands on experience in the field and one of my high school teachers recommended that I get in touch with Wellspring. After learning about the organization I thought it would be a great way to explore different areas in my field and have a chance to work with a variety of people with unique needs. Wellspring is such a welcoming and comfortable environment. I feel like I have been there for a long time. I really enjoy that it is a professional place with a friendly and relaxed feel. At Wellspring there is no pressure to be or act a certain way. It is a great learning experience for me, as I get to apply my knowledge when asked questions by members and learn from our leaders. It is a great opportunity to see different variations of exercises and how the program is customized to fit the unique needs of our members. I love seeing how the members are doing after they work out. It is exciting to see the members grow and improve throughout the program

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