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Posts Tagged ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’

Royal City Rag made it into the Guelph Mercury this past weekend. Thanks to Christie Zimmer for a great interview.

Radio Host Trying To Inspire, Make A Difference
Guelph Mercury, May 1, 2009
CHRISTIE ZIMMER

Jan Andrea Hall said the best volunteer opportunities are those that allow you to give back and grow at the same time. Hall is passionate about community involvement. She’s also host of the weekly radio show Royal City Rag, on CFRU 93.3 FM, Guelph’s campus and community radio station.

Royal City Rag is a show about Guelph, pure and simple. It’s a mosaic of people, places, issues and events that Hall hopes will engage her listeners’ interests and stir their inner activists.

“With the show, I try to find out what’s important to people,” she said.

“I try to find ways to inspire people with the stories of others. Making a difference is what it’s all about; trying to inspire others to make a difference.”

Take a peek at the Rag’s recent archives and blog at http://www.royalcityrag.ca and you’ll get a taste of the breadth of material Hall covers, including the proposed changes to the Hanlon Expressway, management of our urban forest, the third annual Jane’s Walk, the launch of a songbook devoted to the songs of James Gordon, and an interview with Guelph MP Frank Valeriote.

As a volunteer at CFRU, Hall is a one-woman production team acting as the show’s researcher, engineer, writer, host and DJ. And, she loves every minute of it.It sustains her – now more than ever before.

Back in 2005, when Royal City Rag aired on Tuesday mornings, Hall began her day with a walk to the radio station.

She spent the remainder of the work week at the Ontario Veterinary College, where she balanced her roles as a veterinarian and faculty member. Three or four evenings a week, she could be found at local events and on Saturdays she took her turn behind the table at the Big Umbrella community information booth located at the Guelph Farmer’s Market.

Things are drastically different these days and what you might not hear in that powerful voice every Wednesday evening are the devastating effects of myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, which have left Hall unable to work for the past 18 months.

“I became a vet because I wanted to help out,” Hall said. “I still feel I have a lot to give. My story is not completely written.”

While the future of Hall’s career is frustratingly uncertain, her drive to remain an active part of her community and to communicate her passion for local engagement is fierce.

“I surround myself with activist people,” she said.

“There’s something very exciting about talking to people who are activists or volunteers or both. The key is giving of yourself because there’s a tremendous amount of well-being to get back.

“I think it would be really cool to still be doing this in 10 years,” she said, looking over my shoulder, to the future perhaps.

“Because there’s a lot to talk about.”

Christie Zimmer lives and writes in Guelph. Her column appears on alternate Fridays.

christiezimmer@rogers.com.

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