Slid­ing for Hope

Har­bour Grace woman bat­tling can­cer granted wish for snowy ad­ven­ture

The Compass - - OPINION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

At least one town on the Avalon Penin­sula had snow Mon­day night, and that town was Har­bour Grace.

But the snow didn’t fall from the sky like you’d ex­pect. The snow was a spe­cial gift for a lo­cal woman who made a wish dur­ing the tough­est bat­tle of her life — can­cer.

The brother of Hope King asked her sev­eral weeks ago if she had a bucket list fol­low­ing a less than ideal re­port from her doc­tor. She didn’t. But she had one wish — to slide down Martin’s Hill again like she did as a child.

Friend and neigh­bour Linda Smith knew just what to do to make that come true.

“She said, ‘The only thing I want is to slide on that hill.’ I said, ‘My dar­ling, if there’s a way I can do it, you’ll get it,’” Smith told The Com­pass.

But how would they get snow?

Work­ing to­gether

Smith made some phone calls, one to Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes and the other to Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. Both agreed to help.

So from dawn un­til dusk on Dec. 22, Smith ran around, con­clud­ing plans for a slid­ing ac­tiv­ity for Hope and the lo­cals who wanted to take part in the rare event.

Har­bour Grace blocked a sec­tion of Doolins Lane to traf­fic and sup­plied a dump truck to pick up snow. The Town of Bay Roberts sup­plied a front-end loader to load snow on the truck.

Mike Adam of the S.W. Moores Memo­rial Sta­dium and Joyce Mor­gan of the Bay Arena worked to­gether to make sure there was enough snow to cover the hill.

The re­sult was amaz­ing, ac­cord­ing to sev­eral par­ents who at­tended the slid­ing event.

“This was worth ev­ery ache and pain,” lo­cal mom Jaime George, who made and served hot choco­late, said.

The wish

Hope, who is 55, was very ex­cited when she saw the hill cov­ered in snow, and over a dozen kids play­ing on it. This was the rea­son for the wish. “That’s what we done when we grew up,” Hope ex­claimed. “That’s where the fun was, up on that hill. They don’t know what it is to come out and en­joy it.”

Not­ing how kids to­day are al­ways home on

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Hope King takes a turn slid­ing on Martin’s Hill in Har­bour Grace, only a few me­tres from her doorstep. She grew up slid­ing on the same hill.

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