The reason I began volunteering for BIST was:  While I was still a discharge planner at SickKids I was asked to join the awareness committee and I jumped at the opportunity.

If I could pick any job in the world, I would:  An actor – I love the idea of taking on different characters and pretending to be someone else for just a little while.

I have an (irrational or otherwise) fear of: Bears – although I go camping every year.

My greatest assets as a volunteer are: My flexibility, enthusiasm, and my ability to jump in where I am needed.

My friends would describe me as: Kind, fun loving, up for just about anything, and someone who loves to dress up!

If I could invent a super power, it would be: To be able to touch people and fill them with compassion and the inability to be mean to or hurt others.

What inspires me most about BIST is: I have been involved with BIST for quite a few years now and it has been incredible to see to the organization grow and expand their reach to help even more people. BIST is filled with amazing people are constantly coming up with innovative and creative ideas to create awareness and help those living with the effects of a brain injury.

If I won $1 million dollars I would: buy a big country home and fill it with children in need and rescued animals.


My personal hero is: Would have to be my Opa – Roelof Spikman.  He was a young married man with young children living in the Netherlands during the war. In reading his memoires there are stories of being taken prisoner of war, biking 250km to get home and then joining the Underground – or the Dutch Resistance movement. What he lived through and fought for was incredible. After the war he then packed up his young family and moved them Canada and started a brand-new life. Opa Spikman was someone who was loved and respected by all who knew him.

My celebrity “crush” is: Jensen Ackles aka Dean Winchester…Carry on my Wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done.

dean winchester wink GIF-source

My favourite BIST event is: The Halloween Bash in support of BIST. I know I helped organize it – but I love to dress up (hence the actor side of me.)

A quote/motto I try to live by is: There are two mottos’ in my life – “It is what it is, but it will become what you make of it”. And the second, which my kids always hear me say – “There is a solution to everyone problem.”

If I could volunteer anywhere in the world I would: Join Animal Hope and Wellness and help to put an end to the dog meat trade.

Tanya Flaming dressed as a cop, red background

One time, as a kid, I: I lived out in the country just outside of Guelph. My brother and I (I was around six and my brother was around ten) left the home at the crack of dawn with a saw and chopped down our own Christmas tree, dragged it home and decorated before my parents even woke up. Apparently, it was an ugly tree, but my parents kept it up anyway.

I am most proud of:  My children. Sometimes I sit back and look at them and think, wow, I have really good kids. We all try our best as parents but when you see you children emulating the characteristics you are trying to model you can’t help but feel proud (and a bit relieved!)

Tanya F- Halloween Bash

My favourite BIST moment from this past year is: The Inaugural Halloween Bash in Support of BIST. It was a fantastic evening filled with great costumes and we were able to raise money for BIST. Can’t wait for next year!!