Stanstead Gen­eros­ity Helps Young­sters Meet Mickey

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

TheColby Cur­tis Mu­seum hosted a hugely suc­cess­ful ‘Sugar on Snow’ fundrais­ing event last Satur­day, pro­ceeds of which are to ben­e­fit two lo­cal three year olds who have been des­ig­nated this year’s ‘wish chil­dren’ through the Ayer’s Cliff char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion ‘Mu­sicfest Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion’.

This is the sec­ond an­nual ‘Sugar on Snow’ fundraiser at the Mu­seum. Last year’s event raised over $250 to aid vic­tims of Haiti’s earth­quake. This year’s char­ity was high­lighted in an ear­lier

Stanstead Jour­nal ar­ti­cle in which an­other ‘wish child’ told her story to raise aware­ness of the cause in hopes of help­ing other sick chil­dren.

It seems Macy’s story may have touched hearts and raised aware­ness in the com­mu­nity, as this year’s event raised al­most four times more money than last year. Macy’s mother claims she has been ap­proached by ac­quain­tances claim­ing that read­ing about Macy’s ex­pe­ri­ence helped them un­der­stand the dif­fi­cul­ties these chil­dren and their fam­i­lies deal with daily, and it en­cour­aged them to spon­sor the cause in fu­ture.

This year’s ‘wish chil­dren’ are two lo­cal thee year olds, Jack­son Lowry and Maya Hinds. The CWF is rais­ing funds for a Dis­ney cruise for Jack­son and a trip to Dis­ney World for Maya. Pro­ceeds from Satur­day’s event will con­trib­ute to the grant­ing of these wishes.

Maya Hinds was di­ag­nosed with eye cancer at three years old. She un­der­went emer­gency surgery. Her eye was re­moved within about a week of diagnosis. She has un­der­gone fur­ther surg­eries to in­sert a tem­po­rary and then a fi­nal pros­thetic eye. She is still be­ing mon­i­tored for her cancer.

Jack­son is a three year old lit­tle boy who has coura­geously beaten the bleak odds doc­tors pre­dicted for his fu­ture. Born in the throes of seizures, doc­tors stated he likely had only days to live. Jack­son’s first five months were spent in var­i­ous hos­pi­tals. His mother, Mar­cia Black, spoke of her sad­ness dur­ing this time, men­tion­ing her fam­ily looked for­ward to his birth for nine months only to have him re­main at the hos­pi­tal, her other four chil­dren un­able to meet him. In a bro­ken voice, Mar­cia spoke of re­main­ing in a Mon­treal hos­pi­tal, sep­a­rated from her other chil­dren,. She said ‘I could only won­der whether we would have a child to bring home to them’. Dur­ing this time doc­tors asked re­peat­edly if the par­ents wanted them to al­low her son to die, as he’d re­quired re­sus­ci­ta­tion sev­eral times. It was clear to Mar­cia that doc­tors felt that al­low­ing Jack­son to die was a vi­able op­tion, and one the par­ents should con­sider. His par­ents didn’t agree, feel­ing that the doc­tors’ in­abil­ity to di­ag­nose Jack­son’s ill­ness was no rea­son to let him die. She and her hus­band de­cided to take their baby home, be­liev­ing he be­longed at home with his fam­ily, even if it was only go­ing to be for a cou­ple of weeks, or even days.

It has been three years since those dif­fi­cult days. Jack­son, she’s been told, likely has a mus­cle dis­or­der, but is still un­di­ag­nosed. Due to his de­layed de­vel­op­ment he is fed through a tube and is un­able to walk or talk. He has var­i­ous other ail­ments and re­quires phys­io­ther­apy, which some­times causes him dis­com­fort. De­spite his con­di­tion, Mar­cia claims he is a happy lit­tle boy who rarely cries.

Mar­cia talks about the gift her son has been to them all, and the strength and wis­dom she has gained from shar­ing his life and car­ing for him. ‘The hard times are too drain­ing to think about’, she states, ‘So I try to re­main fo­cused on the pos­i­tive’ and the hap­pi­ness they share as a fam­ily. Her other chil­dren, much older than Jack­son, help care for him. Mar­cia is a mother who, through her pain, has learned to ap­pre­ci­ate her child for ev­ery minute she has him, de­spite not know­ing how long that may be. She feels her life with Jack­son has made her a bet­ter mother for all her chil­dren.

Kathy Cur­tis, of Colby Cur­tis Mu­seum, claims they are thrilled with the great turnout in sup­port of these chil­dren, adding that they re­ceived noth­ing but pos­i­tive feed­back from those who at­tended. Or­ga­niz­ers of the ‘Sugar on Snow’ event

Cass Fu­neral Home 900 Clough, Ayer’s Cliff on Fri­day, March 25, 2011, where friends vis­ited from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Satur­day, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. fol­lowed by the ser­vice in the fu­neral home. As a tribute to her mem­ory, do­na­tions made to the Mas­saw­ippi Ceme­tery As­so­ci­a­tion, box 52, 2150 Rte.143, Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Hat­ley, R.S.3, Ayer’s Cliff, Qc. JOB 4BO, would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated by the fam­ily. wish to ex­press grat­i­tude to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who came out to sup­port the ‘wish chil­dren’, as well as the many vol­un­teers who con­trib­uted to the event’s suc­cess. The Ayer’s Cliff ‘CWF’ has ap­prox­i­mately 80 full time vol­un­teers who are ded­i­cated to mak­ing sick chil­dren’s’ wishes come true.

The Colby Cur­tis Mu­seum also wishes to thank all of the or­ga­niz­ers and vol­un­teers who helped make the day a suc­cess. They ex­pressed a spe­cial thanks to Barry Stevens for the do­na­tion of his time, horses and the sleigh rides, to the Lal­ib­erté fam­ily for do­nat­ing the sugar on snow, to the mu­si­cians who played all af­ter­noon, and to Stanstead Col­lege for the do­na­tion of trays and canopies for the event.

Those in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a vol­un­teer or mak­ing a do­na­tion to Mu­sicfest Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion can con­tact Ms. Chrissie Wi­ley at (819) 823-2009.

A good crowd came out to the Colby-Cur­tis last week­end for some old-fash­ioned sugar-on-snow and wagon rides.

pho­tos Made­line Mul­hol­land

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