Valley Lives - Bianca Beausoleil
The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the October 15, 2014 issue. Reprinted with permission.
Masham loses one of its shining stars
by Anastasia Philopoulos
Bianca Beausoleil died on Sept. 14, 2014 due to complications from heart disease surgery.
Scrawled in pink chalk on the blackboard in one of the Mashado's hallways, a message of hope and courage from Bianca Beausoleil remains intact.
"I love you guys, have a good vacation I will see you when I get back, I will be healthy," it reads.
Staff at the youth centre in Masham have been doing their best to preserve the message weeks after Beausoleil's death, but it doesn't make the grieving process any easier.
"We loved her," said Mashado project coordinator Pierre Vaillancourt. "You can sense in the group that her being gone leaves a big hole. The kids are very sad, we have a big chalk board wall, and [we're] letting kids write what they want, believing that is good in the process of grief."
According to staff member Stéphanie Flansberry, the Mashado was like a second home to Beausoleil, 15, who had been coming to the youth centre almost every day since she was a kid, even acting as the representative for youth on the administrative board.
Flansberry remembers Beausoleil's warmth towards outsiders, the kids who struggled to make friends or who were new to the youth centre. "She would draw people out and wanted to include everyone."
Beausoleil was passionate about music and loved to sing, competing often in school singing competitions. Vaillancourt remembers a young woman with character, who loved doing her nails and shopping, and who knew how to push buttons.
"She was a normal teenager," Vaillancourt said with a chuckle.
He adds that Beausoleil took her volunteer position very seriously. "The goal of the rganization is to [help] kids [to be] responsible... and to encourage them to go beyond their limits," Vaillancourt explained. "[Beausoleil] believed in the organization, believed that if kids didn't take part, their voice would not be heard."
Beausoleil was born with heart disease and underwent two major surgeries. According to her sister, Roxanne Beausoleil, her second and most recent surgery lasted 19 hours, and doctors thought Bianca had a good shot of going home.
"Everything was going well. She was under surveillance, she seemed healthy, and on the Friday she went into cardiac arrest," Roxanne said. "I never thought I would lose her."
But Roxanne says she'd rather focus on the positive parts of Beausoleil's beautiful life and how close the two sisters were.
"I'll miss the love we shared," Roxanne said.
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