For my ‘c’ post in the a to z challenge I am going to share a speech I wrote two summers ago when I spoke for a charity. My chief editor Babs assures me that this is not cheating. She says it is “recycling”. I figure even if it is cheating at least it starts with a ‘c’. So here it goes……
It is a pleasure to attend dinner with you all tonight and speak as a representative of a recipient of Hockey With Heart.
In February of this year, a fund-raiser took place, run by family and friends called Keep Sean Moving. Sean is our 10-year-old son who, at age 5, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Seeing the need for major home modifications, my brother began planning a fund-raiser. Hockey With Heart caught wind of the event and soon afterward, John Cabrelli came to our home for a visit to see how the charity could help Sean out. Our home was lacking a wheelchair accessible bathroom and a ramp outside to the back yard. Hockey With Heart began planning a very major renovation and while we were on vacation in July, they came into our home and completed the project. The result is simply beyond comprehension. It truly has to be seen to be believed. From the moment that Hockey With Heart had an architect draw up the plans to the moment the last piece of hardware was installed, they operated with efficiency, thoroughness and caring. Sean now has a fully accessible backyard, bathroom and bedroom. Hockey with Heart has certainly played a major part in helping to Keep Sean Moving.
It is an honour to be associated with a charity committed to helping others in their own community. In a world where it is easy at times to feel isolated, Hockey With Heart reminds us that there are people right in our own community who care, and who are willing to give of themselves in order to ease the burdens of others. A big thank-you to Peter Sands from the Unionville Men’s Hockey League who first brought our situation to the attention of Hockey With Heart. And to John Cabrelli who spearheaded the project and made sure everything proceeded with speed and efficiency, and to Bill Dawson who also dropped in consistently to see how things were coming along. I would also like to mention Larry Roma who was integral in gathering the various professionals to help in getting the job done.
I must also give a brief but special shout out to the Children’s Wish Foundation who are here tonight and who are beneficiaries of Hockey With Heart. Sean was a recipient of this great charity last December when they sent our family to Hawaii so that Sean could realize his dream of swimming with dolphins. It was an unforgettable trip in which we were witness to the fact that sometimes wishes really do come true.
It was on this trip that we heard of a Hawaiian saying that simply states “No rain, no rainbows”. On that day back in 2004, when Sean was diagnosed with such a debilitating disease, some rain certainly began to fall into our lives. But it is because of this tragic situation that we have had the honour of glimpsing rainbows that would otherwise have been hidden from us. To the hockey players who first formed this wonderful charity and all of the other friends and connections who willingly gave of their time to complete our renovation this summer and to all of you here tonight supporting such an amazing charity I must tell you that you are a very bright rainbow in the sometimes stormy life of a family who must cope with watching their child suffer. You represent all that is good in this world – a strong sense of community, kindness, selflessness, caring and compassion. It is people like you who bring some meaning to our suffering.
It is quite overwhelming to be the recipients of so much kindness. It is like being awed into silence.
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. A million times over we thank you.