Despite being terminally ill and confined to her hospital bed, an 18-year-old woman has cast her first-ever federal vote this week, and is now asking other Canadians, “What’s your excuse?” Posting from her hospital bed, the Manitoba teenager shared an emotional video urging other Canadians to get out and vote before Monday, and has since gone viral on social media.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer just four days ago, and subsequently given just days left to live, 18-year-old Maddison Yetman explained that she has one ‘last chance to make a difference.’ Taking to Twitter to share her story, the University of Winnipeg student explained that she had made sure to cast her first ever vote this week, despite having been given just days to live.
Explaining her heartbreaking story on a series of notecards, Yetman wrote, “If I can find the time, YOU can find the time.” Before asking Canadians, “What’s your excuse?”
Her story quickly went viral on the social media platform, receiving thousands of likes and retweets within the first few hours. By Tuesday evening, the post had received a response from several of the country's major party leaders.
This is my last chance to make a difference. Please share this with your network and get out and vote!… https://t.co/LE0XreTlDT— Maddison (@Maddison)1571153914.0
Sharing Yetman’s video on his own Twitter account, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote, “Thank you for inspiring Canadians, and reminding us how precious a vote is.”
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also responded to Yetman’s video, sharing her video and adding, “I'm speechless. This is truly powerful, Maddison – thank you for your courage in the face of adversity. Please watch Maddison's video, and please hear the call to action. Your voice, like Maddison's, deserves to be heard.”
On Wednesday morning, Green Party leader Elizabeth May also spoke out about the powerful video, sharing it to her own feed and adding, “Maddison's video should be watched - and heeded. Heart-breaking and inspiring. We all send you love and thanks - I so desperately wish we could do something for you.”
Thank you for inspiring Canadians, and reminding us how precious a vote is. https://t.co/UUDekyzy2j— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1571189957.0
I'm speechless. This is truly powerful, Maddison – thank you for your courage in the face of adversity. Please wa… https://t.co/YXajdAAJyi— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh)1571173493.0
Maddison's video should be watched - and heeded. Heart-breaking and inspiring. We all send you love and thanks - I… https://t.co/ioHb7UYBgf— Elizabeth May (@Elizabeth May)1571233914.0
Since the 18-year-old’s story went viral on Tuesday, the hashtag #VotedForMaddison has appeared on social media, with Canadians using the phrase to share their admiration and respect for the young woman.
The hashtag was created for Canadians to share pictures of themselves voting, in the hope that Yetman will be able to see who she has inspired.
Using the hashtag, one Twitter user wrote, "I voted in the advanced polls on Friday Maddison! Good job keeping your promise darlin’ girl! I think it will be a great turn out! Thinking about you and your family!"
#VotedForMaddison I voted in the advanced polls of Friday Maddison! Good job keeping your promise darlin’ girl!… https://t.co/XyiKD53D7U— Sharon King (@Sharon King)1571200309.0
So proud of my generation for being so enthusiastic & involved in this #elxn43 - & proud to have exercised my right… https://t.co/gz2YLS4LXj— Dr. Kelsey Bryk, PhD 🇨🇦 (@Dr. Kelsey Bryk, PhD 🇨🇦)1571235522.0
For full information on how to vote during this federal election, you can click here.
Polls will officially close on Monday night, polling station opening hours can be found here.