This week, a story was published in the St. John's daily newspaper The Telegram (www.thetelegram.com), detailing Sophie's journey for a Diabetic Alert Dog. We received a flurry of activity from all over the province and were simply overwhelmed at the response. First off, we need to tip our hat to Mr. Colin MacLean, the wonderful gentleman who took the time to write about Sophie's story, and have it placed front and centre in his newspaper! Mr. MacLean then took the time out of a day he was supposed to have off to write a follow-up piece about the Community's unbelievable response. What a great person, and again, another well-written story!
Again, another front page story in today's Telegram! In case you missed it, you can find a link to that story here:
As we said, this lead to an enormous level of activity, and we were fortunate enough to have the NTV evening news do a story as well. Out hats off to Mr. Larry Jay for doing such a great job with his piece (http://ntv.ca/?p=7601).
This all started for us with a short news story about another Canadian family living with diabetes in their young son, and was fuelled by our determination to find a better way to protect Sophie's future. We quickly set up this fundraising site, and were touched at the response we received on Facebook from all of our extended family and friends!
That initial response allowed us to make the initial $1000.00 deposit and claim a place on the active waiting list. What has ensued since then is nothing short of a miracle. The employees at Newfoundland Power chipped in with a donation box on the second floor of the Kenmount Road Office, and then things really got rolling!
The community response in our hometown of Deer Lake was wonderful, and it is because of the wonderful people there that Deer Lake will always be Home for us. Employees at a Fish Plant in Harbour Breton were rallied to action by my dear Aunt, and the local business community was engaged by my Parents and Grandmother. All of their efforts in all of this will never be forgotten! I (Jamie) spent a lot of my childhood time in Harbour Breton, and through all of my travels, it is still one of the most beautiful places I have ever set foot, and the residents of that fine town are a tangible reflection of that.
Next came the call from friends of ours in Newtown, NL, with the novel idea of selling "Paws" to patrons visiting the Barbour House Living Heritage Village there. Through their tireless efforts, they raised almost 20% of our total fundraising goal, and we honestly do not know what we would have done without them! Believe it or not, all because of something as simple as the need for a cup of coffee, a gentlemen from the Northern Peninsula representing the Charity "Andrea and Rebecca's Pennies For A Sick Kid" decided that his organization would like to make a donation, after stopping in to the Barbour House for a cup of coffee. Above and beyond this, that kind man also thought it would be a great idea to take some paws back to Fort McMurray (where he works) to sell there, and after selling a pile of paws more than two inches thick, he was compelled do send a second donation. Talk about amazing!
The employees at Kent Building Supplies in Mount Pearl decided that a tomato plant lottery would be a great way to raise some extra money for Sophie's puppy! Through the tireless efforts of a select few there [you know who you are ; )], another sizable contribution was made!
Getting back to our friends in Deer Lake, the local chapter of the Lions Club got behind our cause as well, and sent along a donation which really helped to push things along. To the wonderful residents of the Karwood Retirement Retreat, who held a Bazaar and sold 50/50 tickets for Sophie's cause, we could not be more grateful. We hope that our visit with you yesterday brightened each of your days as much as it did ours!
...... and let's not forget about our anonymous donor! We were contacted by a gentleman via our fundraising website simply stating that he would like to quietly "finish off" our fundraising. It took us all a while to gain our composure, and while somewhat skeptical of this persons true intent, we contacted him to arrange for a time to get together. One of the most inspiring people that we have ever met decided to change our lives forever on Wednesday, at our home in Paradise, and his personal story of triumph through adversity is incredible. Born an orphan, and having spent the first four years of his precious young life in the Janeway (much of that time hooked up to a ventilator), he was adopted into a caring and loving family. He started a business out of his garage, and a few months ago, the small chain of businesses that he worked to grow was bought out by a large corporation, making him a very successful individual. There are many people that we meet in our lives who are cynical about the hands that life has dealt them, and then there are those who choose to define themselves not by their personal circumstance, but rather by the true content of their character. This man, who quietly swooped in and gave so generously to our precious Sophie, is the true personification of the latter. A man who knows first hand the trials of personal hardship, and who wanted to make an impact in a sweet little girls life for the sole reason of doing something good, and not wanting any recognition for it in return. What is so touching about this person is not what he did, but how he did it. Thanks to him, Sophie's future is likely to be peachy!
And what's even more inspiring, is that this man was not the only person who contacted us with the same intentions! We were approached by another charity representing the interests of Diabetic Children in our province with the same intent, and how lucky are we that we had to graciously and respectfully decline their offer. Wow huh?
To those who bought tickets, let their kids play the fish pond or bean bag toss, helped with the prize bags, sold lemonade at lemonade stands, liked our fundraising page on Facebook, wrote about, told their friends about it, got behind our cause, supported our efforts for our daughter... all of the credit goes to you.
The greatest blessing in all of this is not that we have reached our goal, but that we have been so fortunate to have met so many wonderful, kind, generous, and passionate people through this journey! What an inspirational story that we have all penned here together! We hope that there are other families in our great province, whose lives have been taken and replaced by a life with Type 1 Diabetes, that will take comfort in our story, draw hope from it, and... as cliche as it may sound... know that if they put their minds to it, they can write their own story just as we did.
Again, from the bottom of Sophie's sweet little heart... Thanks.