A Winnipeg woman with a terminal illness is using her last days to make a difference in her country.
Maddison Yetman, 18, was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only days to live.
The University of Winnipeg anthropology student posted a video on social media Tuesday encouraging people to vote.
In the video, she says one of her last acts was to cast her first-ever ballot in a federal election. It quickly went viral.
“If I can find the time, you can find the time.”
Yetman is the niece of Global News Winnipeg station manager Brent Williamson, who helped her make the video.
“Maddison’s always been very politically active, right from junior high on, she had very strong views,” said Williamson.
“She really believes in the process as well, and was really looking forward to voting. She was lecturing us all on the pros and cons of the different parties in her eyes.”
Sunday morning, he said, she was feeling sick, and by that night, doctors told her she had cancer.
“It was about two hours later, we were all standing in the room, and she said ‘I’m voting in that damn election, I don’t care what happens.'”
Five days later, the family received a diagnosis that her illness was untreatable and incurable.
“She was super happy that she voted … and she put something on her Twitter page and said ‘if I’m bedridden and I can vote, so can you’.”
The key message in the video, Williamson said, is that Yetman can measure her time in hours, but she still took the time to vote.
“Ten minutes, 15 minutes, that’s a real chunk of time for her. It’s not for the rest of us, but it is for her… and it just really hit us.”
Her social media message got some big political reaction later in the day.
Global News is asking people on Election Day, Oct. 21, to take a photo of themselves after they’ve voted and upload it to Twitter/Instagram/Facebook with the #VotedForMaddison hashtag, to honour the young woman’s wish to encourage people to exercise their democratic right.
Keep in mind, though, that you can’t take photos in the voting booth or polling station, so take your pics outside, after you’re finished voting.