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Rea helped along the path to becoming a Future Hero


Born with a kidney disorder, Dauphin’s Sammi Rea spent many hours dealing with health care workers treating her ailment.
Being so young, Rea became fearful of the people looking after her.
“I had to go for lots of tests and I was terrified and they were painful. And that created a fear of doctors, procedures, anything to do with health care. So I always hated going to the doctor and I was terrified,” she said.
As she grew older, Rea eventually overcame her fear and, after graduating from the DRCSS last year, she is now taking online premedicine classes at the University of Manitoba, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.
“So that I could help kids who are scared like I was have a more positive experience,” she added.
Rea’s kidney disorder resolved itself when she was about 10, which meant she did not have to see a doctor quite so often, which helped her to overcome her fear.
Rea began researching more about the health care field when one of her friends also experienced some health issues.
“So she was in the hospital a lot and it just made me see that they’re always just trying their best and they always want to help you. And it helped me realize it’s not as scary as it seems,” she said.
To help with her goal of becoming a pediatrician, Rea applied for and received a $2,500 Future Heroes bursary from CIBC, which created the bursary in tribute to frontline health care workers bravely fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to help post-secondary students realize their ambitions of pursuing a career in health care.
Rea had to write an essay about how she could be a future hero and wrote about her dreams of entering the health care field.
“Receiving this bursary helps me a lot with the cost of my schooling, because my goal is to eventually become a doctor and specialize in pediatrics. And that’s a pretty long haul and there’s lots of expenses. So the bursary helps to lower my stress about university expenses, fees, all that,” she said.
Rea was a long-time member of the Parkland Gators Swim Club and, as she got older, mentored some of the younger swimmers, which ties into her goal of helping kids.
“I’ve always loved working with kids. I teach swimming lessons. I teach piano. I coached for the Gators. I like being around them. They’re so fun and full of energy,” she said.
“And they’re more optimistic, almost. And I feel like I know how to talk to kids in a way that they’ll understand me better than some people. So I’ve just always loved being around kids.”
University is going well so far. Rea is getting good grades, but she said it is a little weird taking classes at home.
“It’s kind of lonely. I’m cooped up in my little study room all day and all my classes are online. So it’s a little weird not having any interactions with people,” she said.
“But the actual courses themselves, they’re going good.”
Rea is looking forward to the day when she can move to Winnipeg to actually attend classes in person.
“Hopefully, at least by winter of 2022, they will be in person and I’ll get my full university experience,” she said.
Applications for the Future Heroes bursary opened, Mar. 15 and close May 12. Students can apply at https://portal.scholarshippartners.ca/welcome/CIBC_En/.

Doug Zywina