Meet Light Up Wellspring Ambassadors
Every year at Christmas, Jay and Elise exchange tree ornaments specific to their important life events. “The ornaments are the memories of the moments that make up our story together,” says Elise. “In a sense, we create a memories tree. The ornaments tell the story of the first time we met, our wedding, our pregnancy, and there are many of our now three-year-old daughter’s special milestones. All our important life moments hang on our tree.”
Although Christmas has always been a particularly special time for the family, the season will hold even more meaning this year as Light Up Wellspring Ambassadors.
Last year, Jay was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. “That day, our lives changed forever. We had to immediately switch gears and focus only on the things we wanted to do together because Jay isn’t going to be with us in the future,” said Elise.
After surgery, life began to change for the entire family. Jay began to experience communication challenges; he took a leave of absence from work, and he gave up his driver’s license out of safety concerns. The family then moved from Manitoba to Oakville to be with Elise’s parents for the extra help.
That’s when Jay’s health care team at Joseph Brant Hospital suggested he visit Wellspring. After meeting with a professional counsellor and Peer Support Volunteer, Jay participated in programs such as Chair Yoga which accommodated his increasing mobility challenges. He then joined the Oasis Parent’s Support Group, where he learned ways to manage his emotions, fears, and anxiety and explain to his daughter what was happening in age-appropriate ways.
This year, as Light Up Wellspring Ambassadors and through the family’s participation in the special tree lighting and decorating ceremonies at the Wellspring centres, their young daughter will be given an exceptional gift to help remember her father.
“Each year, as we decorate our Christmas tree, the memories of all the special events in our lives come flooding back. It is a tradition to be cherished because memories fade, says Elise.”
Please help Light Up Wellspring so that others like Jay and his beautiful family can receive all the critical help they, too, need.