Students pledge kindness to honour Noah Dugas

Students at Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School chose kindness this morning during a rousing assembly inspired by the words and story of Noah Dugas. Noah was a healthy, active 13-year-old with a passion for sports, and to everyone’s shock, suffered a stroke in early 2020. He was treated at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. His health seemed to stabilize, and for some time, all were optimistic. However, on November 13th, 2020, Noah passed away.

See: "He was just a really nice kid"

His parents, David and Jody Dugas, explained at today’s assembly how during treatment, Noah developed a series of affirmations that helped inspire him throughout his treatments. These words became a daily reminder of his “strength, love and determination” to overcome his many challenges.

Jody Dugas noted that each day, her son would take solace in these affirmations, and the family did as well. This morning, the family shared those words with students in hopes of inspiring them to be kind to others and take on life’s obstacles bravely and with resiliency.

“I am kind. I am strong. I am helpful. I can do hard things. I can reach my goals. I am a leader. I am resilient. I am brave. I am loved.” So are Noah’s affirmations, and the words echoed throughout the school’s gym.

The school’s principal, Sue Wardell, and teacher Vanessa Dugas—Noah’s aunt—noted that the assembly was meant “to promote kindness and a positive mindset within their school community.” The event also aligns with Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week, which occurs throughout November 21st to 25th.

Students will also collect “Coins for Kindness,” which will be donated to the Noah Strong Foundation, which supports communities through acts of “kindness, selflessness, and resiliency.”

For more information about the NoahStrong foundation, or to learn more about Noah’s story, visit the foundation’s web site at www.noahstrong.ca

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca