In these crazy COVID-19 times, let me share a feel good story about a young man who instead of feeling sorry for himself stepped up for a cause. Dollard des Ormeaux teen Ethan Izenberg waited almost a year for spinal fusion surgery due to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It seems the pandemic kept getting in the way.

“Seventeen year olds missed a lot in the past year,” mom Wendy told me. “Grad, prom, getting your driver’s licence and so many other rites to passage.”

Fast forward to January 5, 2021. Ethan and Wendy stayed at the Shriners Hospital for six days for the surgery. They had a lot of support from family and friends, many of whom asked what they could get for him to stay entertained during recovery. “I don’t like making things about me, so I came up with the idea of putting the spotlight on the Shriners Hospital where I received exceptional care throughout my journey,” said Ethan. “The Shriners provides the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions burn injuries and other health care needs, without regard to race, colour, creed, sex, or sect, disability, national origin or ability to pay.”

Thus far Ethan has raised over $4,500. He even switched up some Amazon gift cards for cash so he could up his total. Besides his mom, dad Geoffrey and his two older brothers have been big helpers as well. A grad of West Island College (WIC), he is presently enrolled at John Abbott College where everything is online. Donations for his campaign are still being accepted.

PETER MANSBRIDGE INTERVIEW: Of my 47 interviews thus far for our Suburban On Air platform, getting the chance to speak with broadcast legend Peter Mansbridge was a giant thrill. Mansbridge of course spent over five decades with CBC, notably 30 years as the anchor of The National. He retired in 2017. Two years later he started an excellent podcast Called The Bridge. You can now hear it on Sirius XM Channel 167 Canada Talks. Please tune to my interview

COHEN CHATTER: Bravo to Chef Romeo at Shodan downtown. He rallied his clients via a virtual cooking classes to donate $870 to Yes Montreal, the English-language support services that helps Quebecers find employment and start and grow businesses…. Former Montreal Gazette managing editor Michelle Richardson is now the Director pf Communications, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations at the Royal Canadian Mint…Former Global TV Montreal morning personality Jessica Laventure is working as an investigator (contact tracing) at CISS de le Montérégie-Centre…Hampstead’s Jeff Izcovitch is the new director of development and franchising for two of my favorite eating spots, Rotisserie St-Hubert and Harveys… Is Miss Montreal 2020 Katherine Leblanc considering a move into politics? Katherine, who has been outspoken on such issues as human trafficking, told me she may seek a council seat in Pointe Claire next November…The much anticipated film Aline, inspired by the life story of Céline Dion, will hit the big screen on Nov. 26, 2021. Let’s hope movie theatres are open by then and the vaccine program is completed. I have seen the preview. In fact it was supposed to be shown at the CINEMANIA Festival in November, but it was pulled when the event had to shift to online. Maison 4:3 are the distributors. Here is the trailer: ... I was saddened to learn last weekend of the sudden passing of Julian Kotler, a prominent lawyer and one heck of a wonderful human being. He was the founding partner of Phillips Friedman Kotler; and served as president of the Lord Reading Law Society and Herzl Health Centre.

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