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Meet our Outstanding Canadians: Debbie Roman

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On April 23, 2004, Debbie Roman’s life changed forever when she lost her 19-year-old son Steven to suicide. Though Debbie says she will never have all the answers or understand why this happened, she knows that she can help prevent this type of tragic event from impacting other families.

Debbie has poured her heart into fundraising for Kids Help Phone to honour the memory of her son. For the last 13 years, she has rallied friends, family and coworkers to join team SCK, in honour of Steven Christopher Kerr, at the Walk So Kids Can Talk in Winnipeg. To fundraise for the team, she has organized hot dog days, benefit concerts, potlucks, sports raffles and an ever-popular bake sale where she contributes almost 160 hours of baking time. She is also a fantastic ambassador for the cause at the Shaw office in Winnipeg where she works, encouraging all staff in her office to join the team, fundraise or donate.

Debbie’s ambitious fundraising efforts have resulted in over $75,000 donated to Kids Help Phone over the years. She has been the top fundraiser at the Winnipeg Walk So Kids Can Talk for the past two years and in 2017 was recognized as the Manitoba Volunteer of the Year for Kids Help Phone. Every year, Debbie and her family walk hand-in-hand, heart-in-heart, in memory of a gentle soul that left the world too early, and to ensure that other sons, daughters, brothers and sisters have somewhere to turn in their darkest moments.

“I am honoured to be picked as one of the outstanding Canadians at Shaw,” says Debbie. “To be in the mix of all these outstanding people, it is humbling. My family call me the rock and the angel without wings. But I am just a Mom that wants to be sure other families don’t have to go through what we did 13 years ago. Sharing our story and the life of Steven is nothing to be ashamed of. I fundraise to keep KIDS HELP PHONE up and running so our kids, teens and young adults continue receiving the help they need and the hope they deserve. KIDS HELP PPHONE must be there TODAY, TONIGHT and TOMORROW.  

“Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling- just some people are better at hiding it than others. Thank you for this honor and the Grant of $1,500.00 that has been sent to KIDS HELP PHONE. This donation will go a long way.”