From November 1 to November 30 is Give Together Month at Rogers, where we match all employee donations up to $1000 per person to a Canadian charity of their choice. To kick off our month of giving, we interviewed one of our own team members who shared what giving back means to him.
Beyond just being one of our Sportsnet reporters, Faizal Khamisa is also a motivational speaker, cancer survivor and an advocate for Toronto’s SickKids hospital. His fundraiser last year raised nearly $25,000 from an original goal of $3,000 for the children’s hospital. We asked Faizal to share his story and why he continues to give back every year.
1. As a cancer survivor at a young age, you have used that experience to inspire and help others. Can you tell us about that experience and what’s led you to be such a strong supporter of SickKids?
I’m confident in saying that SickKids saved my life. I was being treated with chemotherapy within minutes of being diagnosed with cancer, there isn’t a better place to be when you’re facing an illness of the magnitude I did. More than anything, SickKids allowed me to gain a sense of perspective at 16 years old that I may not have gotten without this diagnosis. There were so many kids and families there that deserved so much better than the fate they were experiencing. I knew I had to use my story and my illness to try and share a sense of perspective with others.
2. You organize your own toy drive and fundraising for SickKids, what motivates you to make that extra effort each year?
It’s often overlooked how simple gestures can change the days, and lives of others. For me, starting the toy drive didn’t require a lot of work, and the potential impact made it worth it. Seeing these kids in the hospital going through what they were going through was hard. Seeing them smile, even for one minute, was enough to make them forget what was going on. The toy drive was a means to create that feeling for as many kids as possible.
3. This month at Rogers is Give Together month, why do you think it’s important for people to give back to the community?
We’re really lucky to be able to work, earn an income and better our lives. So many people don’t have that luxury, or are impeded because of circumstances beyond their control. If we can do something to help improve the lives of others, I feel it’s our duty to do so. Give Together month is a great motivator for those on the fence about wanting to support a cause, because what you contribute will be matched .Take it from me, someone that had the benefit of being treated at one of the most supported hospitals in the world, even the smallest of contributions go so, so far. I encourage everyone to contribute to something if they can this month.
Sportsnet commemorates Faizal Khamisa’s 10-year anniversary of being cancer free last year.
November 8, 2018