Employee Stories: August 24, 2023
A cause close to the heart
By: motto
Meet Mario, Senior Human Resources Information System Specialist

Every one of our employees has their own unique story to tell, and that could not be more true of Mario.

Mario has been with us for a couple of years, overseeing our HR systems and supporting our employees in myriad ways. And then there came a time when Mario needed all of the support he could get. 

Mario’s son Vusa was hospitalized at birth for six months and two days. The baby was born extremely premature at 24 weeks and weighed only 620 grams. He was intubated immediately and required lots of support in the first few months of his life. 

“Hardest experience of my life. We had no idea it was coming, obviously. It was our first baby. It was very stressful, but we needed to remain strong and positive for our son. I’ve never seen anybody be as tough as my wife.”

It’s difficult to imagine how frightening and exhausting this must have been for Mario, his wife, and his brand-new son, so we wanted to alleviate as much additional stress as possible.

“The first thing Fuel said was, ‘Don’t even think about work.’ They were so flexible with me and accommodated me so much. I’ve never been touched by a company like that ever in my life.”

Of course, we were only doing what we could as Mario’s employer, the real heroes in this story are the staff at Montreal Children’s Hospital. It wasn’t lost on Mario how many people it took to keep his son alive, and how many other parents in his situation needed just as much help.

“They’re working nonstop and it’s not one person. It’s not two people. It’s a team of people. It’s very intense and could really be a 24/7 job at any point because when they’re done helping one baby, they go to help with another baby. It’s incredible what these people do.” 

Thanks to the quick actions of the Montreal NICU transport team and the amazing staff at the hospital, Mario’s son Vusa is here with us today, happy and healthy. So how can a father even begin to express his gratitude to the staff for saving his infant son’s life? Sharing his story on the radio today is one way.

The Caring for Kids Radiothon is a fundraising event for the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Since 2004, the event has raised over $26 million for the hospital, and this year is its 20th edition. A few of our Fuel employees will be helping out by taking donation calls today, and Mario is one of many people who will be sharing their stories about how the hospital has affected their lives.

“Our colleague Eric is very involved in the Montreal community and asked me to share my story. It’s hard to talk about sometimes. But if my story can raise money to make the next parent’s life or child’s life easier, that’s fantastic.”

We’re humbled by Mario’s story because as a company we talk a lot about resilience; adapting to challenges and overcoming obstacles. And every now and again we hear a story that really shows us – like really shows us – what humans are truly capable of. Mario’s story is the most inspiring thing you’ll hear today, and we hope you get to hear it.

You can also help us smash a fundraising record today by donating here. Or tune into one of these stations and call in a donation!

800 AM (iHeartRadio)

95.9 FM (Virgin Radio)

97.7 FM (iHeartRadio)

690 AM (TSN Radio)

The Caring for Kids Radiothon is happening all day today, August 24, 2023.