Strangers paying for sick boy's medication an example of human desire to belong, expert says
SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon family counsellor says she's not surprised by an outpouring of support to help a sick child whose medical coverage was denied by the province.
Last week, CTV News reported the story of a boy named Tanner Wilson. The six-year-old suffers from a terminal condition attacking his nervous system, which requires him to be on prescription vitamins.
Last month, the Wilsons were told the Government of Saskatchewan would not cover the compound of vitamins.
Since the story aired, dozens of people came forward wanting to pay for the boy's supplies.
Expert Luciene Poole calls this an example of the human desire to be a part of a group.
"When we notice one person doing something then we do it too. It's the niceness that reminds them of being human.
"When our brains are overwhelmed, we don't necessarily look at what we can do for everybody."
Doing something positive releases hormones that make people feel better - and it’s easier to do something kind when there is a clear example, she said.
"We're focused on what do we need to get done for ourselves, but when we notice somebody else doing it – that group mentality takes over again and then we do it as well.
"In our brains we have neurons that fire up to help us to feel good, it floods our body with hormones and those ‘feel good hormones' happen when we eat something pleasurable or do something good," she said.
Charitable organizations, such as United Way, receive more donations this time of year.
"People really are thinking ‘I'm buying all this stuff for my loved ones, is there a way I can give back to people who can't afford it for themselves or children?," said Kristen Seipp, engagement manager at United Way.
"Even if they don't have a lot to give, the month of December is likely when they are going to make a gift to a local charity."