Stepping up for families like ours
This May, I will once again walk in Steps for Life in memory of my brother Lewis. Critically injured in an instant when a white spruce brought a live hydro line down on top of him, my brother's life, my family's life, and my life was shattered from the moment we were notified he was being airlifted to the Sunnybrook burn unit -- 700 km from our home. What followed was more than two years of hospital visits, consults, distressed phone calls, tears, anger, frustration, and the kind of heartache that permeates every cell in your body. Lewis' physical life ended 2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 2 days after the nightmare began, and learning to live with the loss of his life and his future is something all of us who love him have to work at -- in one form or another -- for the rest of our days.
I've walked in Steps for Life every May since 2006. At my first walk, I met a sister whose younger brother had died on the job more than a decade earlier. Walking side-by-side we exchanged snippets of our experience with understanding and recognition. I haven't seen or spoken to her since, but she changed my life. Walking with me: listening, witnessing. The very beginning of what I would come to experience through Threads of Life's family support programs - as a family member, a volunteer, and eventually, as staff.
I'm so fortunate to work in a job where I see this type of life-changing exchange happen regularly. That moment of recognition when someone carrying unbearable pain realizes they aren't the only one living with such a loss. That spark of possibility that it may be possible for them to survive this, too. Each spring, I prepare to walk and share my fundraising page as my way of paying it forward for those who are still searching for a community of support through the devastation of an on-the-job tragedy. I deeply value this community because I've seen the difference it makes, and I know how badly I needed it.
Will you help me to pay it forward? If so, click that blue donate now button and make a donation today! You'll receive your tax receipt by email following your donation and all funds raised go to providing family support programs and services for families who've experienced a workplace fatality, life-altering injury, or occupational disease. Families like mine.
PS: Prefer to donate by cash or cheque? I'll have a pledge form on me most of the time from now until May!