Open Letter from Leo’s Parents

There is nothing that is usual about Leo; the way he came to us, the way he has grown up and the way he has left us. He was always unique and extraordinary. To those who knew him, he was brilliant, kind, different from the rest, talented and never followed the norm. We know that he was on a path less traveled.

For us as parents, we had known all along that with Leo, we had a special gift. In the 19 years and a few months he spent in this world, we had been learning with him and from him. We are still learning from him now. Leo has made us very proud, not just with all his accomplishments, but with what he stood up for. He spoke up for what he believed in: SOCIAL JUSTICE. He was known to be a passionate debater and public speaker. The impact he made on all of us will remain here with us. He came on a mission and now he has moved on to another mission. Let’s not forget what he wants us to do. ‘SPREAD LOVE AND KINDNESS’  ‘WE HAVE TO RESPECT AND NURTURE YOUNG PEOPLE.’

Leo was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Coquitlam, BC. He loved BC and the country of Canada. He had aspirations to make positive changes in this country of ours.  He wrote and created his own video on ‘THE CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS’ when he entered the ‘Historica Fraser Valley’ competition in 2004. He was 11 years old. He won first prize.  He had to defend his presentation to 3 judges and mom remembers reading one of the judges’ comments: “You are going to be ‘The Leo’!”  Our son planned to study Constitutional Law.

It is ironic that Leo had to die like he was in a third world country. It is only after the fact that we learned that his death was preventable. A vaccine to protect young people from the various strains of meningitis has been available since 2006 and is given as part of the school vaccination program in 7 Provinces and the NW Territories, but not in BC.

‘Leo, son, you are and will always be with us. You have brought us so much joy, pride, and lots of surprises. We love you Leo!

Mom and Dad

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