Some­times it’s the helper that needs some help

The Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CÉLINA IP

Tom Sid­ney is an ac­tive com­mu­nity mem­ber, a kind soul and a beloved friend to many in Pem­broke.

The Ren­frew resident is known for his work with Op­er­a­tion Go Home, as a coun­sel­lor at lo­cal schools such as Bishop Smith Catholic High School, and for his work with the Rob­bie Dean Fam­ily Coun­selling Cen­tre.

“Tom has been with the Rob­bie Dean Cen­tre since its in­cep­tion. He is re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the walkin clinic model that we use. Tom is our clin­i­cal su­per­vi­sor and brings with him years of ex­pe­ri­ence help­ing fam­i­lies,” said Monique Yashin­skie, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor with the Rob­bie Dean Cen­tre. “How­ever Tom’s big­gest ac­com­plish­ment is not his cre­den­tial and ti­tles, it is his abil­ity to con­nect with peo­ple. He is able to reach peo­ple who have a hard time open­ing up and com­bines this gift with his heart that is the size of this county and that is what makes the Rob­bie Dean Cen­tre such a spe­cial place.”

Un­for­tu­nately, on Sept. 1, Sid­ney was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent which caused trau­matic in­jury to his spinal cord. Af­ter be­ing rushed to the Ot­tawa Hos­pi­tal, he un­der­went emer­gency surgery.

Sid­ney now has lim­ited movement of all ex­trem­i­ties and will need ex­ten­sive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in or­der to cor­rect his im­mo­bil­ity.

On Sept. 6, Emily Drew – a good friend of Tom Sid­ney and his wife Shelly – launched a GoFundMe cam­paign to raise $7,000 to help pay for the ex­ten­sive travel and med­i­cal costs associated with Sid­ney’s re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“Many of you have asked what you can do to help, well I think this is a great start. Tom and Shelly need our help to sur­vive dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. Right now, their main pri­or­ity is Tom’s re­cov­ery, so they are both ob­vi­ously un­able to work right now and prob­a­bly for a while. If we can help them fi­nan­cially for now, I think that would make a world of dif­fer­ence in their lives,” wrote Drew on the GoFundMe Page.

Within six days, 64 peo­ple do­nated to the GoFundMe page and raised $4,130.

“We are to­tally over­whelmed and for­ever grate­ful for the won­der­ful amaz­ing sup­port our fam­ily, friends, and com­mu­nity have shown us. You are all an­gels and we want to thank you from the bot­tom of our hearts for help­ing us get through this dif­fi­cult time,” wrote Shelly Sid­ney, Tom’s wife, on the GoFundMe page.

With the hope of reach­ing the $7,000 goal within the next few weeks, the cam­paign will con­tinue on and all are en­cour­aged to spread the word over so­cial me­dia.

“Tom works tire­lessly to change the lives of those who are suf­fer­ing and the cen­tre is truly blessed to have him as part of our team. The men­tal health sup­port com­mu­nity has ral­lied up to help the cen­tre con­tinue busi­ness as usual un­til Tom can re­turn and un­til then, we are pray­ing for his re­cov­ery and look for­ward to hav­ing him back,” said Yashin­skie.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to do­nate to the GoFundMe cam­paign, visit www.gofundme.com/help­ingthe-sid­neys

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Tom Sid­ney (right) with his wife Shelly.

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