Stephen Scott of Vancouver is the 2017 Courage To Come Back Award Recipient in the Medical category.
At the age of 30, Stephen was driving across Canada to visit his family when he fell asleep at the wheel and lost control of his car. Two months later he woke up from a coma in the hospital. Ensuing blood work revealed that he was HIV-positive. On top of this, Stephen’s vocal and physical abilities had been impacted as a result of the accident and he had to learn how to walk, speak and write again.
Tragedy struck again, when at the age of 32, Stephen was involved in a serious snowboarding accident, resulting in a broken hip and leg, and once again landing him in a coma. This time he spent two years recovering in the hospital. Just two year later, in 2004, Stephen developed a brain tumour and was diagnosed with brain cancer with a prognosis of only two months to live.
Although he managed to beat the odds of his diagnosis, Stephen soon found himself homeless and living on the streets of downtown Vancouver. It was during this time that he joined Megaphone Magazine, a company that provides a source of income for those living in poverty and started selling magazine issues for profit. He’s since served on the Megaphone Vendor Advisory Board and was named 2014 Megaphone Vendor of the Year due to his outstanding contributions to the local community.
Stephen graduated from Coast Mental Health’s Peer Support Training Program in 2016 and regularly shares his experience of overcoming poverty, homelessness and health issues to inspire others. Stephen is a regular volunteer at the Coast Resource Centre where he exudes his warm, genuine and positive personality. Stephen’s creative abilities have shined through Megaphone’s Hope in Shadows annual photography contest where his two winning photos were featured and thereafter published in a calendar. He is also a part of Megaphone’s Vendor Mentorship Program.
Despite his tremendous health challenges, Stephen has become known for his upbeat attitude and charming personality, and is recognized and embraced by his customers and the community he serves.
Photo credit: Dan Toulgoet