Young Leader Dax Law plans to attend Laurentian University this fall and eventually attend medical school. He was introduced to the world of tests, needles, doctors, nurses, and hospitals at a young age.
He was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JA) when he was seven.
"Dax has taken the challenges that life has thrown at him and developed into an extraordinary young man," says Mary Lou Hussak, who nominated him for a Community Builders Award.
"He is extremely bright and charismatic, and has transitioned seamlessly from adversity into a thriving young man."
While his enjoyment of physical activities such as riding a bicycle or playing sports is limited (but not restricted), he put his energy elsewhere.
"Dax is one of the best volunteers with the Arthritis Society that Sudbury ever had," says Hussak, who worked for the agency for several years.
When he was 10, Law contributed to a book, I Am Brave, which was written by children with juvenile arthritis. In addition to speaking to teens and teachers about what it is like to live with a chronic disease, he often acts as the media spokesperson for events and fundraising campaigns.
In 2011, he was featured in a video produced by the Arthritis Society national office titled Commitment to a Cure. He is a member of the National Arthritis Advocacy Committee.
Law has been honoured with an Ontario Youth Award for his volunteer work with the Arthritis Society of Canada.
Now in his final year at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, the 17-year-old honours student is a student council member, a published poet, a musician, a junior entrepreneur, and an environmentalist.
"I keep busy," he says.
Law is planning his second trip to Costa Rica where he participates in a project to help the poorest residents convert to solar LED lighting.
Light Up Costa Rica was started by David Wiwchar, vice-principal at Lively District Secondary School.
"Dax's excellent gasp of concepts around environmental sustainability and sustainable development coupled with a willingness and the organizational capacity to take action assure that he will continue to have a good impact for good in the world as opportunities become available to him," says Wiwchar.
Extremely articulate, Law, as a representative of the students' council, made school announcements, twice a day for three years. He also participates in school fundraising initiatives such as the Heart and Stroke drive, the food drive, and the Adopt-a-Family program.
He plays guitar and was a member of the school's jazz band for several years. He has won several music awards of excellence.
In 2008, Law entered the city's entrepreneur fair. His business was called Everything Inukshuk. He made Inuit stone men fridge magnets from baked clay. He won the Best Products Award.
"I have yet to see a task that Dax did not work his hardest to achieve or exceed," says his friend Jana Schilkie.