Terminally ill teen urges Canadians to vote after casting her first ballot
TORONTO -- A terminal cancer diagnosis hasn’t stopped first-time voter Maddison Yetman from exercising her democratic right. The Manitoba teen is now asking others: “What’s your excuse?”
The 18-year-old University of Winnipeg anthropology student was diagnosed with terminal cancer just four days ago.
The teen has urged others to get out and cast their vote in the federal election on Monday, by recording a video from her hospital bed.
“As some of you may or may not know, last week I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This is my last chance to make a difference,” Yetman wrote in the Facebook post.
“Please share this with your network and get out and vote! #whatsyourexcuse”
Yetman tagged the leaders of the main political parties to try to bring awareness to the importance of voting.
“It’s been estimated that I have only a few days to weeks left,” Yetman wrote a series of cards held up to the camera in the 40-second clip.
“Despite being bedridden and having very limited time I still managed to submit my first ever federal vote.”
Yetman only speaks during the video to say “If I can find the time to vote, you can find the time to vote.”
The video, posted on Tuesday, ends with a card showing the hashtag #whatsyourexcuse.
Her Facebook post was flooded with supportive messages from people urging Yetman not to give up hope.
“Maddison you are an extraordinary person,” Rebecca Lee wrote.
“Never doubt you made a difference in all the lives you have touched.”
Nancy Scarlett added, “We did vote, thank you for your post. Bless you! We have never met but I will remember you!”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh saw Yetman's plea and urged others to follow suit on Twitter.
“I'm speechless. This is truly powerful, Maddison – thank you for your courage in the face of adversity,” he tweeted.
“Please watch Maddison's video, and please hear the call to action. Your voice, like Maddison's, deserves to be heard.”