In January 2023, we had the very good fortune to call a winner of the WinWin50 quarterly cash draw. The lucky winner, Katya, had designated the Mental Health Foundation as the recipient of a portion of the proceeds. We were ecstatic not only to tell her but to later get a couple minutes of her time to learn more about her story.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Katya, I live in Lethbridge, Alberta. It’s amazing to look back and think how far I have come since my son was born. My desire for independence and a better life for my son motivated me to work hard towards getting my nursing degree, despite the challenges of managing motherhood at such a young age.
It took four years of long days, early mornings, and late nights studying, but in the end it was all worth it. I’m thankful for everything I’ve been able to achieve – and especially thankful for my friends and family who helped me achieve those things.
In 2018, I was offered my first nursing job here in Lethbridge at Chinook Regional Hospital, and that’s where I am today. So here’s to taking that first step: no matter how uncomfortable or uncertain it may seem—it will be worth it in the end!
What does this win mean for you?
It means I can start to live a life without stress and worry. I can take the time to enjoy the present moment, while also planning for our future. I can spend more quality time with my loved ones and invest in him and myself, whether it be through education, travel, or simply investing in experiences that make us feel alive.
And of course, having a financial cushion will give us the freedom to choose what type of work I want to do—not just because it pays the bills but because it brings meaning into my life. Next year, I hope to take my son and I for a month through Thailand and Vietnam—it’s always been a dream of mine.
Why did you select the Mental Health Foundation?
The Mental Health Foundation is an incredibly meaningful organization because of its focus on supporting the resources individuals seek when they are struggling with mental health issues.
The stigma surrounding mental illness can be paralyzing, and having access to help without feeling embarrassed or ashamed is an essential part of recovery. Financial constraints shouldn’t hinder someone from getting the necessary support and care that they need, and I’m grateful to the Mental Health Foundation for providing this.
I think it’s reflective of how seriously mental health should be taken that accessible resources are so freely available. Even though the emergency department can be a difficult place to work, witnessing those who receive help from these resources is incredibly inspiring.
Well Katya, it is clear to us that you have earned this win—and now is the time to embrace it! Take a deep breath and savour this feeling of accomplishment—it is truly life-changing. Here’s to taking control of your financial future and living life to the fullest! Cheers!
Although it wasn’t always easy being a single mom, the journey has been rewarding and life-changing. I am proud of myself for having the perseverance to make my dreams come true, and setting an example for my son that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.