VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Extra, extra read all about it. The subject of our latest Courage To Come Back profile spreads good news as his way of giving back to the community.
Stephen Scott is a familiar sight on the corner of Thurlow and Davie Streets in Vancouver’s West End. That’s where he can be seen selling copies of Megaphone Magazine. Net profits of the street paper go the low-income vendors themselves. “I used to be on the street, I know how it is, and I can share my story [with] others,” says Scott, the recipient of the Courage To Come Back Award in the Medical category.
Scott has dealt with plenty of hardship in his life. Not once, but twice, has he been forced to start over again. Back in the year 2000, he went on a cross-Canada road trip from Vancouver to his hometown of Montreal. Thirty-kilometres from home, he fell asleep at the wheel, sending his car into a ditch. He woke up from a coma two months later, forced to learn how to walk, talk, and write again. “When you wake up, you don’t know what to do, you don’t know what to think, to say,” he recalls. He also found out he was HIV positive.
Two years later, he fell off a cliff while snowboarding in Whistler, breaking his hip and severing his leg, and sending him into another coma. Then a brain scan showed he had a tumour. Without support, he ended up homeless and addicted to drugs. “So, I say, well, it’s going to make me forget, take the pain away, whatever.”
But then he found his way to Megaphone. “I did Megaphone Magazine to keep my busy. For me, it’s a good agency, very good community support,” he explains. “I have no family here. For me, my family is my customer. They come to talk to me every day, ‘How you been doing?’ ‘How’s your week?’ ‘How’s your weekend?’ And all that.”
In 2014, he was named Megaphone’s vendor of the year.
With his life back on track again, Scott now has dreams for the future, including a trip to Australia, and a chance to see his favourite animal, the Koala. “This is why I’m saving all the change I get from my customers, [who have] become my family, they support me every year, and all that change will go to a special account to help my dream come true.”
Scott is happy to share his good news with everyone: it’s the Courage To Come Back. “It’s a positive way [for] people can think about it. They say, ‘Well, if Stephen can do it, I can do it too.'”