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Help Chris with mobility items and personal care

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Hi - thanks for clicking on this crowd-funding page. I appreciate your taking some time to read this.

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Chris


He’s married to my life-long best friend - Erica. Erica and Chris are incredibly generous, kind, self-reliant and private people. They needed much encouragement to agree to put out this request for support.

Chris is a loving, gentle soul. An avid sports fan, he loves cheering for his favourite teams in hockey, basketball and baseball. Chris had a long and fulfilling career in radio and sports broadcasting before returning home to the Maritimes and working in communications. Along with watching sports, Chris enjoys live music, theatre and time with his nieces and nephews.


Chris and Erica got married in 2014, after many years together and the move from Toronto to Chris' hometown Fredericton was a big adjustment, but worth it to be closer to Chris' family.

Their love story and their lives, like many of us, have had some ups and downs… this gofundme is the result of the incredibly hard challenges that Chris has been going through in the past few years.

Chris has been battling with MS since he was diagnosed in 2005 after a bout of Optic Neuritis. Many of you know first-hand, how difficult and debilitating Multiple Sclerosis can be. The disease has progressed over time and has taken away his ability to work, walk and he can no longer care for himself.

Chris and Erica have been trying to do their best in a tough situation, but they’re at a point where external help is necessary to manage Chris' ongoing and growing medical care costs.

By 2019 Chris' MS had progressed to the point where working was no longer possible. The decline in his health happened alongside his beloved late father's passing due to Parkinson's, and his Mother's own health challenges. It was a difficult time for the whole family -- all this right before the pandemic hit. Which, as we all learned, made tough situations even tougher.

As MS has been slowly breaking down Chris' nervous system, he and Erica have adapted - first with walkers, then scooters and almost two years ago, a manual wheelchair. They have sold their home, and moved into a condominium on the ground floor to allow for better accessibility, a condo which was flooded due to a fire in their neighbours unit. This resulted in them having to leave their unit for 8 months and bounce around in hotels and airBnb’s. It was a job on its own to find accessible spaces for Chris during this time. This all definitely took a significant toll on his physical health and Erica's mental health.

Unfortunately, the manual chair that was purchased is no longer suited to Chris' needs and they need to get a motorized wheelchair to help him get around. Transferring to his wheelchair is no longer something Chris can do independently, even with assistance from Erica. They have had to purchase a mechanical lift - which has been an absolute necessity - as well as the required slings, which are hundreds of dollars. The equipment, and personal care items add up quickly, even with insurance. Along with equipment costs, Chris needs 24-hour care, requiring personal support workers while Erica is at work, delivering mail as a letter carrier.

When home from work, Erica puts on her caretaker hat, and really does not get time off. Because of this, we, her family and friends, have encouraged her to take advantage of respite programs occasionally, to help with caretaker burnout. These respite stays are all paid for out of pocket.

Chris is currently awaiting permanent placement in a care home, as his needs are quickly becoming more than the two can manage at home together, to their mutual heartbreak.

They’re both hopeful that Chris will come home for some holidays even when in permanent placement and as such, equipment will still be necessary at home.


These are the "big ticket" items, a motorized wheelchair, lift and slings, respite care, hospital bed, and in-home personal support workers which will transition to full time placement. There are growing medication costs, along with smaller and medium sized tools to help Chris adapt due to the lack of dexterity in his hands, which you can imagine, makes simple things like holding a cup, incredibly challenging.

All the small things that most of us take for granted every day, getting up out of bed, showering, brushing our teeth, dressing ourselves and going out for the day -- all require effort and equipment that makes each of those things a process that is time consuming and physically tough.

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Our goal is to raise - 40K, which is a lofty goal, but the costs of supporting Erica and Chris as he goes through the late stages of MS are incredibly steep.

If you can afford to donate, please do, no amount is too small. And if you’re unable to help financially, please share this fundraiser with your friends and family. Also, sharing it through your social media or in an email would be AMAZING!.

Thanks for your help, and making it all the way through our fundraising ask.

Please do what you can!
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Donations 

  • Melanie Mackenzie
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 5 mos
  • Jenipher Schousboe
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Jack Carr
    • $1,000 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
Donate

Organiser and beneficiary

Lindsay Williams
Organiser
York, ON
Erica Parker
Beneficiary

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