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Letter from the Editor

(1 Vote)

Fort McMurray is rallying around one of our own in the fight for his life

The start of 2016 certainly hasn’t brought a lot of good news for our local economy. More layoffs. Oil at an historic low. Housing prices down significantly. Record need at the local Wood Buffalo Food Bank. Certainly not a great feeling for lots of people. However, we’ve been here before and I’m confident it will turn around eventually, and that together as a community, we will be stronger and come out of this more connected and dependent on one another. 

The start of 2016 has also shown us another side of the current Fort McMurray – the side that is rallying around one of our own in the fight for his life. Our community is generously fighting to save the life of Bo Cooper, collectively showing the country…and the world…that we take care of those who take care of us. Bo Cooper, a local firefighter, has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) for the third time since 2011, and his treatment options have been limited to new experimental options. He’s an ideal candidate for some and is currently (at print time) in Maryland undergoing the first stages of treatment. The money being raised (well over $500,000 so far and counting) will help with Bo’s fight. 

Unlike ever before, I have watched as Fort McMurray and far beyond have come together to raise the funds - and maybe even more importantly - shown support, love and gratitude for a man and his family who have given us so much. In what could be considered a not so great time, they have shown the light and hope, and that there is a fight much bigger to be fighting. You can read more about Bo’s story and the community support around him on our website in Theresa Well’s article “Rallying with Bo” and I know with a fact that we all are in “Bo’s Army”. 

This issue of YMM is dedicated to Irish and Bo Cooper. Stay strong and know we’ve all got your back.

As we all rally here in Fort McMurray and wherever these pages are read, please enjoy this issue of YMM. It includes lots of fun information about winter sports in our region and some of the great sporting events that are coming up in the near future.

Krista Balsom


In December I had the opportunity to chat with students enrolled in Girls Take Another Look - a component of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s Media Literacy program at Holy Trinity High School. It was a blast...thanks for having me!

Please consider donating to Bo Cooper and his fight at


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